Grantee documentary chronicles hunger strike that helped end indefinite solitary confinement

“The Strike,” a new documentary produced with the Fund’s support, chronicles the largest hunger strike in U.S. history, to protest solitary confinement at the Pelican Bay “supermax” prison in Northern California. For decades, the prison held mostly Black and brown men alone in tiny cells indefinitely. Then one day in 2013, 30,000 prisoners went on hunger strike. The film, directed by JoeBill Munoz and Lucas Guilkey, tells the stories of the men who bore the brunt of this practice and details how the strike started and spread. With unprecedented access to state prison officials and never-before-seen footage from inside the prison, the film reveals the panic that gripped the highest echelons of state government and ultimately helped stop indefinite solitary confinement in the state. The film premiered this month at Hot Docs and will screen in May at Doclands.