Inside/Outside (2019, 94 minutes) is a feature length documentary film about women and mass incarceration in the United States as they struggle with the challenges of sexual assault, substance abuse and often, motherhood. Seen through the lens of a predominantly white, county jail in a rapidly gentrifying town in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, this film explores challenges the women face inside and outside jail. Limited programs, rampant sexism and racism on the inside, and the lack of job opportunities, housing and healthcare on the outside contribute to high rates of recidivism for many women and their families who are caught in a revolving door of poverty and incarceration. As the primary and secondary stories unfold, we hear from a chorus of women who share what it is like to be in Northampton County Jail, and experts and correction workers to help stitch together different aspects of the criminal justice system. Inside/Outside addresses the hard and cold facts of the prison industrial complex experienced through a microcosm of local stories that affect families and communities.

The film has been completed over a seven-year period, with a deep commitment by the filmmaker to work with the subjects of the film beyond the frame, to engage various members of the local community affected by the criminal justice system, and to continue her volunteer work as a yoga instructor at Northampton County Jail.

The majority of the crew were women and/or people of color.

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  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 15, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
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Director Biography

Nandini Sikand is an anthropologist, filmmaker, author and dancer. Her films have screened and won awards at over a 100 domestic and international film festivals and aired on PBS. She has been awarded grants from The Guggenheim Foundation, Jerome Foundation, the Center for Asian American Media and is two-time awardee of New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) grant. Sikand is an Associate Professor of an interdisciplinary film and media studies program at Lafayette College, PA.

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Director Statement

My work as intersectional feminist practice is a continued attempt to bridge the gap between theory and praxis, while anchored in my commitment to community engagement and social justice.