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Public Film Screening: Follow Me Down

  • Eldorado bokhandel Torggata Oslo Norway (map)

The Prisons of Note project at the UiO: Department of Musicology, University of Oslo present a free screening of the film

Follow Me Down: Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians (dir. Ben Harbert, 2012; 97 mins)

at Salen 1 (ground floor kino), Eldorado Bokhandel, Torggata 9A, 0181 Oslo

Follow Me Down is a feature-length documentary about music in prison. Shot over the course of two years in three Louisiana prisons, ethnomusicologist Ben Harbert weaves together interviews & performances of extraordinary inmate musicians — some serving life sentences, some new commits & one soon to be released. The result plays like a concert film, but instead of bright lights & big stages, these musicians rap in okra fields, soothe themselves with R&B in lockdown & create gospel harmonies on the yard. This film offers an unexpected look at prison life, pushing viewers to reach their own conclusions about music, criminality, & humanity.  


17:00 Welcome, Áine Mangaoang
17:10 Film starts
18:45 Q&A with director Ben Harbert 


This free film screening is in conjunction with the Prisons of Note project at the University of Oslo, where Prof. Harbert will deliver a guest lecture on Thurs. 24 August.  

For more information, please contact Dr Áine Mangaoang:


Reviews for Follow Me Down

“Well conceived and thoughtful in its representation of the topic, Follow Me Down will be of great interest to ethnomusicologists, Americanists, anthropologists, and other scholars in the humanities and social sciences interested specifically in music and prison life, or music and music making in the context of adversity. It also provides a great educational resource for exploring questions of music and meaning (personal, spiritual, and social), musical continuity and change (in comparison with Lomax’s earlier work), musical ethnography, and ethnographic filmmaking at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.”— Francisco Lara, Independent Scholar for University of Illinois Press on behalf of Society for Ethnomusicology

“It brings us up to date on the music of the people who are imprisoned in this country. We can no longer imagine it to be the work songs of 70 years’s a really groundbreaking film....a very important film.” — Anthony Seeger, Director Emeritus, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

For more event details, click here