“It’s More Expensive To Do Nothing” Screens at the Newburyport Film Fest

Newburyport Documentary Film FestivalThe Newburyport Documentary Film Festival, now in its third year, presents 20 films. Three judges will rate the films in a number of juried categories, and, in addition, an audience-adjudicated award will also be given.

This year, one of those films will be It’s More Expensive To Do Nothing from our very own Humane Exposures Films. The film is directed by the award-winning Alan Swyer, who is known for work ranging from The Buddy Holly Story to the recent documentaries such as Béisbol: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, which he has worked on with Andy Garcia.

It’s More Expensive To Do Nothing is executive-produced by Susan Madden Lankford, and is rooted in her work on downTown: USA and Maggots in my Sweet Potatoes. Here’s a sample of what the film has to offer: This is the trailer from the Humane Exposures Films YouTube Channel:

In his advance praise for It’s More Expensive To Do Nothing, Dr. Bruce Perry sums up the film with an almost Twitter-like brevity:

‘It makes long term economic sense to try and take care of these people in a humane way, and help them heal.’ – Bruce Perry, MD, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Child Trauma Academy

Experts agree that the film’s portrayal of our criminal justice system points to the need for and to the effectiveness of rehabilitation-oriented approaches over simple incarceration, especially when the critical aspect of recidivism is taken into full account:

‘In examining the indisputably recidivistic nature inherent in the contemporary practice focusing on the institutionalization of criminal offenders and comparing it with the documented potential found in numerous remedial programs that return nonviolent past offenders to society as self-sufficient and productive citizens, the documentary film ‘It’s More Expensive to Do Nothing’ makes a compelling case that more than justifies its factual title.’ – John Dean, author and former White House counsel

You can see It’s More Expensive To Do Nothing, as well as a host of other important works in the documentary genre, on September 24 through 26 in the historic downtown Newburyport, MA. The two venues, The Screening Room and The Firehouse Center for the Arts, will be the site of the film screenings during the film fest.

If you find yourself in MA on those dates, come on down and check out the film! It’s More Expensive To Do Nothing will be screened on Sunday, September 26, at 2:00 PM at The Screening Room. If you don’t want to take a chance on missing it, you can purchase tickets in advance.

Source: “Films Selected This Year,” Newburyport Documentary Film Festival, 09/10
Logo of The Newburyport Documentary Film Festival is used under Fair Use: Reporting.

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5 comments

  1. I watched and enjoyed “It’s More Expensive To Do Nothing” at the Screening Room theater in Newburyport Massachusetts today (10/26/2010). Both the comments by the talking heads in the film and the statistics that were periodically intercut onto the screen made a very obvious case for “rehabilitation” as well as “punishment”. Something as simple as giving a a bus pass (not just a bit of cash) to fresh-out-of-jail prisoners very obviously make sense. If we want a safer society, we need to teach those who are having trouble how to get along within our society. It seems like an open and shut case. The only reaction I could summon was “Well Duh”.

    Yet from the very fact the film exists, the disappointing portrayal of more recent events the filmmaker supplied in the Q&A, and even the mediocre quality of the questions asked by even this highly selective (“enlightened”) audience, it became crystal clear the vast majority of both politicians and citizens of the U.S. just don’t “get it”.

    There seems to me to be a wild disconnect between a reasoned case and the tendency of our society. My question is “why”? Why is something that seems so obvious not even on the radar screen of even leading citizens? Can anyone enlighten me? Thanks!

  2. Steve O'Keefe says:

    Chuck,

    Thanks for your observations on the premiere of It’s More Expensive to Do Nothing.

    What seems common sense to you — “we need to teach those who are having trouble how to get along within our society” — is unfortunately not the attitude that prevails. People are angry about crime, and willing to spend three times as much to hurt people as to help them.

    The answer to your question, “Why,” is anger. When something bad happens, people seldom say to themselves, “What action now would most likely have the best long-term results?” Instead, they want to get even or inflict pain. In doing so, they turn small offenders into major-league criminals who will cost society many times the price of a little compassion.

    Thanks for Your Contribution,
    STEVE O’KEEFE
    News Editor, Humane Exposures Blog

  3. SusieL says:

    I am glad that Chuck posted his comments after having seen our film. It is important to have opinions that will reach the hearts and souls of our audiences in today’s America. Without your opinions, we merely have films existing in isolation. Thank you Chuck. Thank you Steve.

  4. [...] It’s More Expensive To Do Nothing" Screens at the NewburyportExperts agree that the film’s portrayal of our criminal justice system points to the need for and to the effectiveness of rehabilitation-oriented approaches over simple incarceration, especially when the critical aspect of recidivism is taken into full account: [...]

  5. Khairuddin Alias says:

    Hi
    In Singapore we are doing LOTS OF THINGS to help ex-convicts re-integrate back to society. One of the most important thing is the involvment of the community and trying to get their buy-in to our Throughcare Programs for these ex-inmates in term of jobs and family acceptance. As expected the road is paved with slippery slopes and boulders, but we are heading there just the same.

    Khairuddin

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