Hard Time is a 40 minute documentary about the personal evolution of a man, from a life of poverty in rural Louisiana, through the state corrections system, to becoming a political activist who has devoted his life to the plight of political prisoners in the United States. In 1970, a jury convicted Robert King of a crime he did not commit and he was sentenced him to 35 years in prison. He became a member of the Black Panther Party while in Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Prison authorities beat him, starved him, and gave him life without parole after framing him for a second crime. He was thrown into solitary confinement, where he remained in a six by nine foot cell for 29 years as one of the Angola 3. In 2001, after years of legal battles, he was set free. “Hard Time” is his story told in his own words.
The film focuses on racism and human rights in the U.S. penal system, and also draws attention to the plight of Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, the other members of the Angola 3. Herman Wallace was released after 42 years in 2013, after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and he died a free man only three days after his release. Albert Woodfox was released after 43 years of solitary confinement in 2015. Robert King’s story is one that makes people everywhere think about what how the justice system works. This is a story of inspiration and courage, and the triumph of the human spirit.