The Toronto Review of Books is thrilled to be co-sponsoring the July 19 screening of Herman’s House at Open Roof Festival, a marvellous series that presents outdoor screenings every Thursday night all summer. We’ve got a couple of tickets to Herman’s House for our readers: to enter in the draw to win ’em, send your name and your favourite bookish scene in a movie to firstname.lastname@example.org by this Friday afternoon (the 13th!).
We’re especially excited about this screening because the wonderful Brett Story covered Herman’s House in her TRB Issue Four essay, “Occupying Prisons: Canada and the Future of Incarceration.” The film looks at the life of Herman Joshua Wallace, a man held in solitary confinement for decades. In Brett’s words, the film helps viewers to think about Herman
not as arrested by the architecture of his confinement, but as existing through a slew of relationships. Herman’s relationship with Jackie, unlikely and unequal as it might at times appear, contains more mutual support than one might assume it could. Herman has a relationship with the State, which seems so invested in keeping him from other prisoners, while he credits the politics of the Black Panther Party with keeping him sane. And of course he also has a relationship with us, the audience, a cast of strangers for whom his life and the prison space it occupies provoke endless questions. Because Herman’s voice has no body in this film, these questions become as much about us and our worlds, as they do about his.
So—send us those bookish movie scenes! Watching a fantastic doc under the stars is sure to be Toronto’s best diversion on July 19.