Angad Bhalla created the documentary film, “Herman’s House,” that explores the injustice of solitary confinement and the transformative power of art. There will be a full scale model of a solitary confinement cell on display.
The film tells the story of Herman Joshua Wallace, who has spent the past 40 years in solitary confinement at Louisiana’s notorious Angola Prison Farm. At the urging of artist Jackie Sumell, Wallace, working by letter and occasionally phone, designs his own post-prison house. The film follows their unique creative partnership, as Sumell builds an exhibit based on Herman’s story, complete with plans for the house and a full-scale model of the cell. The story takes a turn when Sumell sets out to build a bricks-and-mortar structure for Herman and authorities decide to review his case. Panelists Scott Paltrowitc, Maria Pagano, Bob White, Five Mualammik, as well as Angad Bhalla himself came to discuss the film and the arbitrary, inhumane and unsafe use of solitary confinement in New York State after the screening.