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Behind the Bars

Throughout the course of his life, poet Edward Smyth Jones faces an uphill battle through the oppression that the institutions of the world hold against men of his race. As the obstacles surmount and things begin to seem hopeless, he turns to the written word to find solace in his experience – finding meaning in his struggle and passing down the story of his life in order to teach future generations how to find comfort in a life hindered by inexplicable prejudices.

Based on a poem by Edward Smyth Jones

Director’s Statement

I wanted the film to illustrate the poet’s autobiography and his struggle with racial discrimination. The further I went into my research I was appalled to realize how little has changed in the span of a century. In the film, I made a point to tie Jones’ autobiography to current events, because his plea for justice and equality has yet to be answered and is at the forefront of the American conversation right now.
 
To visually represent Jones’ struggle, I used a combination of 2D computer, hand drawn and under the camera animation techniques. I incorporated textures, fabric, and earth, objects that would have been accessible to the poet during his lifetime. I combined those tangible elements with frame-by-frame hand drawn line to create dynamic scenes, freely morphing from one image to the next. The freedom of the line drawing expresses Jones’ abundant imagination, and intense inspiration to write even during his most difficult moments.

See the entire project here monticelloparkprod.com/campfire-poetry

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