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Keywords: Experimental documentary, Juvenile justice, Life without parole, Social impact
Natural Life is an experimental documentary produced and directed by Tirtza Even alongside the legal efforts of the Law Offices of Deborah LaBelle.
The project challenges inequities in the juvenile justice system by depicting the stories of several youths who received the most severe sentence available for convicted adults--being sentenced to die in prison (i.e. given a sentence of "natural life" or "life without parole"). These stories are presented against the overlapping contexts of social bias, neglect, apprehension and alienation.
Tirtza Even is a practicing video artist and documentary maker, producing both linear and interactive documentary video work that represents the less overt manifestations of complex and sometimes extreme social/political dynamics in specific locations (e.g. Palestine, Turkey, Spain, the U.S. and Germany, among others). Even's work has appeared at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, at the Whitney Biennial, the Johannesburg Biennial, as well as in many other festivals, galleries and museums in the United States, Israel and Europe, and has been purchased for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the Jewish Museum (NY), the Israel Museum (Jerusalem), among others.