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Oswego Graduate's HBO Documentary Gets an Oscar Nod

Documentary filmmaker and OHS grad Edgar Barens was nominated for "Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall."

Oswego Graduate's HBO Documentary Gets an Oscar Nod
He didn't take home a gold statue, but Oswego High School graduate Edgar Barens was among the nominees at Sunday Night's Academy Awards ceremony.

Barens, a 1979 graduate, was nominated in the documentary short subject category for "Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall."

The nearly 40-minute documentary "breaks through the walls of one of Americas oldest maximum security prisons to tell the story of the final months in the life of a terminally ill prisoner, Jack Hall, and the hospice volunteers, they themselves prisoners, who care for him," according to the film's website.

The film was shot over a six-month period at Iowa State Penitentiary. 

Variety critic Peter Debruge writes that the film, "humanely reveals how an Iowa inmate incarcerated for life spends his final stretch. Whereas countless docus have explored the subject of death row, 'Prison Terminal' asks the question few ever consider — namely, how do those sentenced to die in prison actually die in prison?"

Another film, "The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life," won out over Barens' documentary.

In a message posted to the movie's Facebook page, Barens reacted to the loss.

"It was a good run!," he wrote. "I want to thank all of my dear friends and family members who followed me through this roller-coaster of a ride from shortlist to Oscar nomination. While I did not get the Academy Award this time around, I truly feel I have won in many other ways. You have all been so enthusiastic and supportive of me and my work - I have truly been blessed!"

"Prison Terminal" is scheduled to debut on HBO on March 31.

Click here to view the trailer for the documentary.


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