Friday, August 24th, 2007
Rooftop Films and El Museo Del Barrio present
CIELO ABIERTO: Hard Road Home

Free Show! But you must RSVP to attend. Instructions below.
A powerful, honest and uplifting doc about a center in East Harlem fighting to solve one of the most difficult issues facing the United States' vast prison population: what to do when you get out.


8:30: Live Music
9:00: Movies Begin
11:00: Reception in the courtyard with FREE Martin Miller's Gin available (and beer for sale).
Admission: FREE, but you must RSVP to attend. To RSVP, email public_programs@elmuseo.org and put "Hard Road Home" in the subject line and the names of ALL attending in the message body. Seating on the roof is limited and will be given out to those who RSVP first. Later RSVPs will be seated outdoors in the lovely courtyard below.
Venue: On the roof and in the courtyard of El Museo Del Barrio
DIRECTIONS

Address: 1230 Fifth Avenue (@ 104th Street), New York 10029.
Rain: In the event of rain, show will be indoors at the same location.
Call 718.417.7362 for additional information.

Presented in partnership with El Museo Del Barrio, IFC.com, and New York magazine.

Hard Road Home
(Macky Alston & Andrea Meller | New York, NY | 1:13:00)

Odds are that if you go to prison and are lucky enough to get out, you’ll be going back sometime soon. Julio Medina, however, beat the odds. A drug-dealing gang leader when he entered prison, Julio left 12 years later a changed man. He created Exodus Transitional Community, a program in Harlem dedicated to breaking the cycle of incarceration that ensnares so many. The trick to Exodus is that its staff knows firsthand what it’s like to go to jail. They’re all ex-cons – a badass group of do-gooders who reach out to their clients like nobody else can. Hard Road Home tells the story of this high–risk, high-drama world and the extraordinary task of turning around the fate of any person born into it.

Macky Alston and Andrea Meller’s powerful documentary exposes one of the most difficult and tragic issues facing the United States vast and growing prison population: what to do when you get out. You have become used to a static and structured life, where meals, clothes and shelter are provided for you. You are legally barred from many professions, and far more employers simply won’t hire you. And many of your friends and family members are just waiting for you to get busted again.

This film is about a non-profit non-governmental organization, run by former convicts, which helps people when they get out of jail. Based just a few blocks from our screening venue Museo del Barrio in East Harlem, the Exodus Transitional Community is simply amazing, going far beyond traditional social services. For example, they not only help you find a job listing, they’ll train you how to talk in an interview, give you a suit to wear, and send you a wake-up call to make sure you get there. Most of all, they provide an astonishingly caring community. In the film, when one of the instructors in the program has a drug relapse, the underpaid staff immediately takes up a collection for his family, and takes to the streets to find him. When he finally comes in after several days, he fully expected to be chastised and fired. Instead, his co-workers greet him with hugs, hot food, and words of encouragement.

The film itself is hard-hitting and delicately told, heartbreaking, uplifting and insightful, with in depth coverage and a fantastically effective structure that highlights the difficult struggle ex-convicts face and the astonishing power of the Exodus house. Rooftop Films is thrilled to be able to present this poignant story in the heart of the community where it is based.