Film still from <em srcset=I Could Tell You ‘Bout My Life (image courtesy Museum of the City of New York)” width=”720″ height=”451″ srcset=”×451.jpg 720w,×376.jpg 600w,×677.jpg 1080w,×226.jpg 360w, 1460w” sizes=”(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px”>

Film still from I Could Tell You ‘Bout My Life (image courtesy Museum of the City of New York)

Join director Michael Martin at the Museum of the City of New York this Thursday night for the world premiere of his short film I Could Tell You ’Bout My Life (2018), followed by a conversation with Martin and New York artists Onyedika Chuke, Sophia Dawson, and Messiah Ramkissoon.

In April 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years old so that 16- and 17-year-olds were no longer prosecuted and incarcerated as adults. However, director Martin was arrested at age 17 before this law went into effect, and he was sentenced to five months in prison at New York City’s infamous Rikers Island jail. I Could Tell You ’Bout My Life, filmed, narrated, and directed by Martin at age 19, two years after his incarceration, reflects on his time at Rikers and how it has affected his life. The conversation that follows the screening, moderated by Tramia Jackson, will cover the power of art to address the problem of mass incarceration. For more information on the individual artists involved in the conversation, see the Museum’s event page here.

The event is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, students, and educators with ID, and $10 for Museum members. The price includes Museum admission, though all galleries close at 6 pm. Tickets can be purchased here.

When: Thursday, February 7, 6:30–8:30 pm
Where: Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, East Harlem, Manhattan

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Deena ElGenaidi

Deena ElGenaidi is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University-Camden in 2016, and her work has appeared in Longreads, Electric Literature,...

One reply on “A Short Film Reflects On a Teenager’s Time at Rikers Island”

  1. Interesting article about an extremely interesting young man whom I wish well. But I used to teach on Rikers and I believe there is a mistake regarding his being sentenced “to five years in prison at New York City’s infamous Rikers Island jail. Rikers is where a person goes while awaiting their sentence. If they are sentenced to one year or less, they do their time on RIkers. But if it’s over a year, they will be sent to one of upstate prisons. I don’t doubt that Mr. Martin was sentenced to five years. I just doubt that the five years were done on RIkers.

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