Singing With Conviction
PRODUCER – VERONICA McCARTHY
DIRECTOR – NADIA MAXWELL
Lisa Tui Jonathan has just eight two hour Friday night sessions to combine a group of women prison inmates into a choir, able to perform in front of fellow prisoners. This would-be choir is at the instigation of the Department of Corrections, in an innovative attempt to provide a different kind of rehabilitation.
If anyone can help these women, constrained by the system with its lock-downs and rigid rules, come together it’s Lisa Tui. She has a presence, a way of facilitating that relaxes people, creating a safe environment; she has mana. Coming from a difficult background herself this is Lisa’s way of giving back.
Tackling staunch attitudes, Lisa Tui attempts to break down institutionalised defence mechanisms. Through interviews and observations over the weeks we see Lisa Tui coaxing the women as she tries to empower them through song.
The women give a glimpse into their past life and crimes through candid interviews. We share in their Friday night singing sessions as they work towards their performance, hearing what differences Lisa and this rehabilitation programme have made to them. Theirs is a hard journey that has resulted in them being behind bars, but do they have the toughness to see this singing programme through?