Upcoming events

DocLab Shorts 24 Nov at 19:45

A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.

more events

The Deeper They Bury Me

A prisoner in Louisiana since 1972, Herman Wallace tells the disturbing story of his solitary confinement in a series of interactive animations.

Ever since a controversial conviction for the murder of a prison guard in 1972, Herman Wallace has been living in solitary confinement in Louisiana State Penitentiary. This interactive documentary allows the user to look around both his cramped cell and the imaginary home he was asked to design by the artist Jackie Sumell, who was curious about what sort of dream house such a long-term prisoner would come up with. Wallace’s world opens up, step by step, as the user moves around it. Behind some of the objects in the cell and the house we find a short video clip in which Wallace provides information, as if in a telephone conversation. He talks about the consequences of his isolation, the permanent camera surveillance, the lack of privacy and his mental deterioration. Animations depict his dreams and desires, while archive footage and clips from interviews with those who were there illustrate the bizarre penal system in the United States. Wallace’s temporary relocation to a communal dormitory is a high point in his existence. But it’s also a short stint, because soon afterwards he’s back living under the harsh daily regime of 23 hours in his cell and one hour of exercise. We’re allowed to walk wherever we want, but for no longer than 20 minutes, which is the maximum amount of time a prisoner can spend on the phone each day.

Selected for IDFA 2015 and eligible for the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling and the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction.

Presented as part of the DocLab: Seamless Reality program by IDFA and De Brakke Grond as an interactive installation from 19-29 November.

Project details

Year of development :2015
Created by:Anghad Bhalla & Ted Biggs
With:National Filmboard of Canada and Storyline Entertainment

Available formats