Free Men

Love and Art on Death Row

Free Men Sentenced to death, many of us would give up on life. But from his death row cell, Kenneth Reams refuses to be limited. He falls in love with Isabelle, a French artist who wants to become his wife. Together they fight for justice for a murder he didn’t commit, at the same time arranging exhibitions of Kenneth's own art. Narrated by Reams, this doc profiles one prisoner's extraordinary struggle for freedom, justice and love against the odds.
Free Men (2018) on IMDb

Reviews and More

Free Men takes audiences out of their comfort zone” – Dawn

For a Q&A with director Anne-Frédérique, see here.

To watch Anne-Frédérique live on Good Morning Britain with Susanna Reid and to hear from Kenneth calling in from his prison cell, see here.

To watch Anne-Frédérique speaking live on RT News UK, see here.

To listen to Anne-Frédérique live on Monocle 24's The Briefing, see here.

To listen to Anne-Frédérique live on BBC Radio Berkshire with Bridgitte Tetteh, tune in at 48 mins here.

LaurelMontreal International Black Film Festival - Honourable Mention
LaurelAustin Film Festival - Official Selection
LaurelSalem Film Festival - Official Selection
LaurelAlgiers International Cinema Festival - Special Jury Award
LaurelAlmost There Festival, Beirut - Official Selection
LaurelDOCSMX Mexico IFF - Official Selection
LaurelFIFDH - Champ-Dollon Jury Prison Award
LaurelInternational Festival of Great News Report and Social Documentary, France - Official Selection

The Producers

Anne-Frédérique Widmann

Anne-Frédérique is a Swiss investigative reporter and documentary filmmaker. Formerly, she was U.S. correspondent for European media, co-editor-in-chief, anchor of the current affairs documentary program Temps Présent and head of the investigative team of the French Swiss National Television and Radio RTS. With New-York Times editorial cartoonist Chappatte, she co-founded the art & documentation project Windows on Death Row.

Making The Film

Director's Statement

In 2015, I ended up on the phone with Kenneth Reams. He’d heard about the project I was organizing with The New York Times editorial cartoonist Chappatte, Windows on Death Row, an exhibition of paintings by inmates on death row. "My organization has just recently put up an exhibition in Little Rock, Arkansas. But to change the American people’s opinion... we have to create a national museum to tell the history of capital punishment", he told me. "Perhaps we can work together on this?”. This film in a sense came looking for me. Kenneth and Ndume, two charismatic and extraordinary characters who have drawn upon unusual, inner resources, giving them the strength to survive a life of imprisonment and a destiny cut short. Their stories are filled with hope. From the very depths of death row, they give us a valuable life lesson. Their fight and determination to remain free men at all costs is at the heart of this film. Do we all possess such strength, somewhere deep inside us?

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