Writer-Director Matthew Cooke has announced a partnership with producers Adrian Grenier and Bryn Mooser to produce a series of documentaries, “The Survivor’s Guide,” highlighting issues facing the U.S. criminal justice and corrections systems.
The first installment, “The Survivor’s Guide to Prison,” will be exec produced by Susan Sarandon and focused on Bruce Lisker, who spent 26 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
His story is supported by a star-studded cast of academics, artists, musicians and actors who detail how to survive prison as an individual and as a nation, redefine the word “justice,” and look at completely different models of conflict resolution and “wellness creation” that have been proven to work.
“Cooke and I find common ground in creatively tackling complex social issues in ways that play like a summer blockbuster,” Grenier said. “This team wants to see journalism feel like entertainment and then move us into action. That’s where Ryot.org comes in.”
Cooke has worked on several documentaries including “Deliver Us From Evil” with Amy Berg, and previously worked with Grenier on HBO’s “Teenage Paparazzo.”
“As a country that has already enslaved, segregated and lynched black people for hundreds of years, that we should be arresting, caging and executing black men more than any other race is unconscionable,” Cooke said. “The election of a black president does not negate what’s happening to ordinary citizens. While African Americans are disproportionately victimized, they’re not alone. When California police beat two white homeless men to death within months, and militarized SWAT teams regularly storm family homes of all colors for small amounts of marijuana, we see the violence rife within our law enforcement community affecting all disenfranchised Americans and turning us against each other.”