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The Visitors Details


Filmmaker Melis Birder profiles a number of women who struggle to keep their relationships together under trying circumstances in this documentary. While approximately sixty percent of prisoners in the state of New York come from New York City, nearly all those prisoners are housed outside the city, usually at facilities upstate. It can be a long drive to one of New York's prisons, and it's not uncommon for people who live in the city to not own cars, so a system of charter busses has sprung up, in which friends and families of prisoners climb aboard on Friday night, spend between eight and ten hours on the road, and then spend Saturday with their loved ones, heading back home in the evening. In The Visitors, Birder introduces us to a number of women who make the difficult voyage every weekend, as they try to hold on to relationships that are have been stretched to the breaking point by time and distance; rather than discuss the crimes that put their loved ones away, the film focuses on how the visitors cope with loneliness during the week and the difficulty of keeping up their Saturday meetings. Birder also profiles Denise, one of the charter coordinators whose husband is soon to come home after seventeen years behind bars. The Visitors was an official selection at the 2009 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi



Melis Birder
Melis Birder
Melis Birder
Suat Kutlug
K.A. Miille