‘The Work’ records inmates’ transformation

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‘The Work’ is being shown at the Panida Theater on Saturday.

The Sandpoint Men’s Group presents the award-winning film, “The Work” at the Panida Theater on Saturday, April 14 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

“The Work” is a 2017 documentary that has won numerous awards from film festivals around the country. It records the transformation of several men as they confront hurts that have happened in their lives, and as they go through a process of healing. This healing is at such a deep level that it makes clear that all of us are capable of healing and growing if we are given the right kind of support. What makes this even more inspiring is that it all takes place within the unlikely environment of Folsom Prison, a maximum security facility. Folsom Prison in California was made famous by Johnny Cash songs, a concert and later the film, “Walk the Line” that was filmed there.

An inmate rehabilitation program was started 17 years ago at Folsom Prison and has been incredibly successful.. The therapy process that is used inside this prison is unconventional and much of the facilitating is done by the inmates themselves. This process goes far beyond just talking about past hurts or transgressions. It is an embodied and experiential process, in which all the participants experience growth and healing. A couple times each year members of the public are invited to come inside the prison to participate in four days of a group process that is as powerful as it is inspirational. Come see “The Work” at the Panida Saturday and see how and why this program has so powerfully changed lives.

When asked why the Sandpoint Men’s Group is bringing this film to the community, SMG founder Owen Marcus said that “It’s a vivid illustration of how men’s disconnection with their emotions and their relationships destroys their lives. It is also about how men working together can work to recreate that connection.”

Owen Marcus started SMG 13 years ago “because I needed to find a way to use my emotions that serves me and others. SMG has grown because as men we have an inherent need to be vulnerable, connect with other men, and have our own tribe.”

Sandpoint Men’s Group specifically wishes to invite several populations of people who may especially appreciate this film:

• Church communities, for whom outreach, healing and redemption are valued;

• Fathers, who desire a closer relationship with their sons and daughters, or children — especially sons — who long for a better relationship with their fathers;

• Mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters, who see some of the men in their lives struggling and challenged by old wounds and isolation;

• Recovering communities who know the toll that pain and suffering and despair can have on individuals, couple relationships, and families;

• Law enforcement and those working with the jail system in our society;

The counseling and rehabilitation individuals and agencies, who strive to assist all people in recovering from the wounds from their past;

• Educators, who work with others to support everyone in achieving their highest potential, and who recognize that many have challenges from their past which make succeeding in life more difficult;

• All individuals who are motivated for personal growth — for themselves or their loved ones, and who haven’t given up hope that there can be a path toward a better future.

There will be time for discussion after the film so that the audience can share their reactions and how they experienced this powerful journey of hope and transformation. The Work is an independent film, which was not given a rating, but SMG suggests an R Rating for some strong language and intense emotions. There is no violence in this film (although there are references to violence from the past), no one gets hurt in this film, and there is no sexual content.

Tickets for the film are $5, but SMG does not wish for anyone to be excluded from attending if money is an obstacle. Tickets can be purchased in advance from Evan’s Brothers Coffee, Eichardt’s Pub, and online at the Panida, or from any man who is a member of Sandpoint Men’s Group.

Information: sandpointmensgroup.com

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