The Image Formed

Previewing the 12th Austin Film Festival

Mario's Story

D: Jeff Werner, Susan Koch

"I know how the system works, and I want to believe that it can deliver justice," says California State Prison inmate Mario Rocha. "It's just a simple thing like that is utopian." Convicted of murder and attempted murder and tried as an adult at 16, Rocha was sentenced to two life sentences for a crime he didn't commit. Mario's Story documents every twist and turn that keeps the young, intelligent writer behind bars. If you've any remaining faith in the justice system, the 10 years of Rocha's incarceration will shatter it. If you've become one of many cynics, enlightenment will follow. Not only is Werner and Koch's doc informative and disturbing, but the emotional journey taken by Rocha, his advocate Sister Janet Harris, his attorneys, and especially his fortitudinous family proves that hope holds lives together regardless of the situation. Some spirits cannot be broken. – Darcie Stevens

10/19, 7:15pm, S.F. Austin; 10/24, 7:15pm, Drafthouse Lake Creek

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