Storyville, 13 years on death row.

6°C, dry with white cloud.
BBC: A Death Row Tale: The Fear of 13.
Quite the most moving thing I have seen on TV for many years.

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Credit: Storyville.

Practically a single scene play with just the narrator. If tells his own story in a beguiling manner the revealed gem after gem.
I put the recording on late on a Friday evening thinking I could watch half and finish in the morning.
A man on death row, a drug addict, a car theif was sentenced to death for a rape and murder. He sits in a darkened room, under a single light and tells his story.
In this story, there are frequent glimmers of optimism and unwavering hope. He used the time to teach himself to read properly, to enjoy reading and became articulate. More than that, he’s eloquent.
Yarris tells a story of horror, obvious human rights violations and poetry. Not wistful romantic poetry, this is beauty within a life in a hell. Men in a confined space with a dreadful end story, behaviour is animal. Here is hope.

There are a few edits where outside images break up scenes, the unfolding story evolves and unfolds beautifully. Through my own personal tiredness. .I was pinned to this. Half an hour in, resuming in the morning was out of the question.
My hope is that I can this film on disc, I want to go back to this sometimes. There are themes here for me personally. This is a public space, so I’m not saying now.

Although I’m no criminal, I can take something from this story. There are profound messages about life here. Take a look.

And All Our Dreams Will End in Death

13°C, heavy rain. CK:36miles

Rain delayed enough for a decent ride this morning. I’ve missed riding that bike.

BBC Radio 4: they make good plays that are worth listening to on long motorway drives. Saturday. Howard Neal is the story of a US bloke on death row. The story wasn’t especially surprising, nor were the details, but the interest for me was the voice. Radio is entirely dependant on voice in plays like this. His accent was a mixture of deep south (US) and effects from his deprived background. Except not always; he seemed a little too articulate to me, his phrasing was rather conventional and it shouldn’t have been. Okay the whole play would have been more difficult, but surely, more rewarding.

Today was the story of Richard IIPlantagenet: And All Our Dreams Will End in Death. Okay, it’s not really fiction, well, no more than history is usually. Very good I thought, sadly, I missed the end. I did get the feeling that our past monarchs were largely a bunch of despotic gangsters. His relationship with Queen Anne was interesting, and touching. There are interesting parallels in the peasants’ revolt with The Tsars in Moscow in 1918 too. Both groups wanted an end to serfdom (slavery by another name) and concessions were given but even more asked for. Then the monarch backed off in fear. That, it seems is a pattern that has repeated a number of times in history. You can tell I have been following the BBC R4 series on Russia‘s history can’t you?