One of the entries at this year’s Silverdocs festival that Kelly Jane Torrance and I unfairly overlooked in our preview is “Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo,” a documentary on the life of female prison inmates who also ride bulls. An entry in the Sterling U.S. Feature competition, “Sweethearts” follows the inmates as they qualify for spots on the 2007 rodeo team.
After the first day of filming, director Bradley Besley was unsure what he was doing at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. “Did we want to spend years filming in a prison, did these men and women, some of whom are in for murder, deserve our attention? Do these people really need a voice?” Of course, that’s not the only concern: “Not to mention the fact that most prison and rodeo documentaries are boring.”
Rest assured, the crew at Silverdocs doesn’t think that “Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo” is boring. Check it out for yourself Friday at 4:30 at the AFI Silver.