Kumla prison in Sweden is known as the Underground Kingdom. Inside the largest Swedish A-rate prison, the corridors connecting every section are covered with artwork done by inmates with the support from established artists. While human lives are caged by time, the artwork itself remains timeless.

In 2015 when Zhou left China for Sweden, she devoted her curiosity and compassion to the exploration and documentation of a Swedish prison where the felons are given instruction in art. Grappling with themes such as the potential risks of a prison arts program and the value of the art lessons themselves, Yan and her team arrived at Kumla filled with questions and apprehension. As the documentary unfolds, all the concerns regarding the safety of the artists and the film crew are allayed. While the inmates may lead very different lives from the people outside of the walls, their stories and openness transcends borders, reaching inside the soft islets of our dreams and emotions.

Kobbar poster
Title
Kobbar
Director
Zhou Yan
Country
China, Sweden
Length
83 min
Festival
2016
Section
Documentary Competition
Language
Swedish
Subtitle
English subtitles
Premiere status
World Premiere
Production year
2016
See all films from the 2016 festival