The IF Project

The If Project
Southern Circuit
Millsaps College
April 5, 2017 7:00 pm

The IF Project documents the collaborative project between Detective Kim Bogucki and the incarcerated women in Washington’s Correction Center for Women. The film followed four main women as they attempt the answer the question posed by Det. Bogucki: If there was something someone could have said or done that would have changed the path that led you here, what would it have been?

The film follows the incarcerated women and Det. Kim as they attempt to answer this questions. There are several situations of women who are serving their time and are release and their journey after that. There are clips of women sharing their experiences and the loss of humanity and identity within the prison system. Some women confess that they were not good people before they went to prison and are now on a path to redemption. One women admitted that she still feels guilty years after killing a woman and ending her chance to redeem herself. Through these stories, we get a glimpse into the lives of convicts.

Kathlyn Horan, the director of The IF Project, does an excellent job of capturing the raw emotion and humanity of the people who society has deemed monsters. Within the first minutes, I was emotional seeing the regret and guilt that many women openly shared and their hope for a second chance. Hearing their stories and their desire to break the cycle makes you realize the full humanity of criminals. Although we often outcast those who have killed others or see them as unredeemable, Horan and Bogucki attempt to change that and the system that allows this cycle to continue.

After the film, Bogucki suggested that this movie along with The 13th be shown to all police officers to “put a human face onto someone who has been incarcerated.” I agree with her. In addition to that, I think that this film should be shown to everyone. Although Orange is the New Black was a major breakthrough for seeing not only women, but women of color, and prisoners on the screen, it is still entertainment. It does not seek to share the reality of real female prisoners, it is meant to draw in viewers and entertain us. This would be a great contrast in that we do see those women suffering because of systemic issues and hopefully, it will call us all to help.