When one of us was getting certified to teach theatre inside prisons, a nursing home catering specifically to the formerly incarcerated population grabbed our interest. Visiting that home, we were moved by two women who had served their time (for murder and arson, respectively) at the same prison and, since their releases, chose to become roommates at this unique facility. Their backgrounds are heart-wrenching, but their relationship is healing. As the pair move through their (now) simple days in this final chapter of their lives, their humanity shines as a beacon, reminding us that prison reform remains vital and worthy of continued advocacy.
J Brooke and Beatrice Alda
J Brooke (They/e) and Beatrice Alda (She/Her) are partners in film and life. Their award-winning 2016 feature documentary, ‘Legs: A Big Issue in a Small Town’, was released on Amazon. Their 2009 feature documentary, ‘Out Late’, was acquired by First Run Features and released on multiple platforms. Together Brooke and Alda co-founded the film company Forever Films, Inc. which produced myriad commercials and short films during the early 2000’s.
A graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA, Brooke’s short film, The Bed, debuted at Outfest, and won Cinewomen’s Best Short Doc and a Silver Award at Brooklyn Film Festival. They are a frequently published essayist. A graduate of Wesleyan University, and NYU Film School, Alda began her career acting in films, including “The Four Seasons” and “Men of Respect.” She has been an LGBTQIA activist and recently became a certified instructor of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. Roommates is the duo’s first documentary short.