The Work

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Early on in The Work, a documentary chronicling intense group therapy techniques practiced inside Folsom State Prison outside of Sacramento, California, a man suffers a violent meltdown. He is Brian, one of three outside visitors that directors Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous follow as they join inmates over a four-day course of treatment. His distress is not an uncommon sight under the circumstances: what is more worrisome is his doubt regarding the ultimate benefits of the punishing emotional labour on display. A guide puts his hand on Brian’s shoulder and asks him gently, “Are you willing to simply trust the process?”