Directed by: Lisa R. Cohen
Narrated by: Forest Whitaker
If there is ever a movie that will restore your faith in humanity - Serving Life is it.
The OWN documentary tells the story of a Louisiana State Prison where the men doing life sentences have the opportunity to volunteer for their prison Hospice service.
The movie follows four new hospice volunteers as they train. They learn how to clean, bathe, feed, and how to genuinely care for another human being.
The movie was truly humbling and amazing.
If you are one of those people who believe that hardened criminals won't ever amount to anything or cannot possibly change...then you need to watch this movie.
These men volunteer to help the terminally ill and old prisoners "die with dignity".
The men who volunteer (some have volunteered since the programs inception in 1992) have a completely new outlook on life.
Unlike the death they saw in the streets or their neighborhoods, they see a new side to it; a slow, sad, painful death and the frailty and mortality that we must all go through.
They learn to care and empathize for another human being, to care for someone more than just themselves.
Seeing these men die and helping them as much as they can, resonates for the volunteers because they know that they too will end up dying in prison and that one day they may be the one with swollen legs, bed sores, gasping for breath.
The movie is proof that people can change. Even though these people did bad things, these actions do not always and forever define them. They are not soulless, uncaring shells of people. They have the capacity to love and care for others.
Serving Life is available on Netflix.
I give it 5 out of 5 popcorn.