The War on Drugs is ‘Epic Fail’

This short film, narrated by Jay Z… is part history lesson about the war on drugs and part vision statement. As Ms. Crabapple’s haunting images flash by, the film takes us from the Nixon administration and the Rockefeller drug laws — the draconian 1973 statutes enacted in New York that exploded the state’s prison population and ushered in a period of similar sentencing schemes for other states — through the extraordinary growth in our nation’s prison population to the emerging aboveground marijuana market of today. We learn how African-Americans can make up around 13 percent of the United States population — yet 31 percent of those arrested for drug law violations, even though they use and sell drugs at the same rate as whites.  -New York Times 09/15/2016
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Narration by Jay-Z. Direction and audio design by Kim Boekbinder and Animation by Jim Batt. Produced by Dream Hampton and Revolve Impact.

Slavery to Mass Incarceration

The elaborate mythology of racial difference created to sustain American slavery persists today. Slavery did not end in 1865, it evolved. #SlaveryEvolved
The legacy of slavery can be seen in the presumption of guilt and dangerousness assigned to African Americans, especially young men and boys, the racial profiling and mistreatment that presumption creates, and the racial dynamics of mass incarceration.
EJI’s Race and Poverty project explores racial history and attempts to deepen our understanding of the legacy of racial injustice. By telling the truth about our past, EJI believes we can create a different, healthier discourse about race in America.
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Narration by Bryan Stevenson. Script by Bryan Stevenson and Kim Boekbinder. Directed by Jim Batt. Sound design by Kim Boekbinder.  Shot by Burke Heffner.

Locking up Immig rants for Profit

The United States puts immigrants behind bars every day. Though the vast majority of these immigrants are not criminals, they are kept in conditions as brutal as those for any other prisoner. Congress requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also called ICE, to keep 34,000 immigrants behind bars each day in order to keep its funding. But, out of the 350 facilities it uses to incarcerate these immigrants, only 8 are owned and operated by ICE itself. For the rest, ICE pays between $122-$200 per person, per night, to for-profit corporations and local jails.

 Politicians love to bray that ‘illegal aliens’ are bleeding America. But the real leeches are the private prison companies who rake in billions in taxpayer money to ruin immigrants’ lives – including those with the legal papers to live and work in the US..

Animation by Jim Batt. Sound design by Kim Boekbinder. Shot by Burke Heffner.

How Police Profile and Shame Sex Workers

In May 2013, Monica Jones, a student and LGBT activist at Arizona State University, was arrested for “manifesting prostitution.” Monica said she just accepted an undercover officer’s offer of a ride home from her favorite bar. Monica is among the tens of thousands of people arrested every year for prostitution-related offenses. According to the FBI, police arrested over 57,000 people on such charges in 2011. The vast majority were women.

Animation by Jim Batt. Sound design by Kim Boekbinder. Shot by Burke Heffner.

Solitary Confinement

As of 2013, there were 80,000 men and women in solitary confinement in the United States, some of them as young as 14 years old. In this illustrated op-ed video, artist Molly Crabapple explains the psychological and physical trauma suffered by those forced to spend 22-24 hours a day alone — sometimes for arbitrary reasons, like reading the wrong book, or having the wrong tattoo — in a grey, concrete box. (According to the U.N. 15 days in solitary is torture.) “There is no limit to how long someone can be held in solitary confinement,” says Crabapple. “And very little evidence is needed to justify holding a person in solitary indefinitely.”

Broken Windows

Last summer, a New York city police officer choked a black grandfather named Eric Garner to death. Garner was suspected of selling loose cigarettes. The arrests of people like Garner are part of a controversial policing tactic called Broken Windows. Broken Windows claims to prevent large crimes by cracking down on small ones. But it’s really about controlling and punishing communities of color, through police encounters that can sometimes be deadly.

Written, illustrated, & narrated by Molly Crabapple. Directed by Jim Batt. Sound design by Kim Boekbinder. Shot by Keith Jenson.

How Ferguson Showed Us the Truth about Police

This is a short by animator Jim Batt and Molly Crabapple, explaining the events in Ferguson, and the events brought to light outside the city, since the shooting of Mike Brown.

I Have Your Heart

A Short Film by Crabapple, Boekbinder and Batt
A stop motion, paper puppet animation about love, loss and open-heart surgery.
Directed by Jim Batt. Art by Molly Crabapple. Music by Kim Boekbinder.