SOLITARY was nominated for TWO Emmys! One for Outstanding Investigative Documentary and one for Outstanding Editing: Documentary by the one-and-only Ben Gold! 

Located on an Appalachian mountaintop in Wise County, Va., Red Onion State Prison is a “supermax” facility built to house individual inmates in 8’x10’ solitary-confinement cells, 23 hours a day, for months, years and sometimes decades. Directed and produced by Kristi Jacobson, SOLITARY: Inside Red Onion State Prison explores life on both sides of the bars, raising provocative questions about punishment in America today.

The film was produced by executive producer, David Menschel; producers, Julie Goldman, Katie Mitchell; editor, Ben Gold; director of photography, Nelson Hume; original music, T. Griffin. For HBO: Senior Producer, Nancy Abraham; Executive Producer, Sheila Nevins.



Learn more about solitary confinement and join the fight with the ACLU of Virginia and Interfaith Action for Human Rights

The penetrating “Solitary” is a sobering account of life (without parole) inside the Red Onion



“Deeply disturbing and moving.”



“Intelligent, thoughtful, and tough documentary filmmaking.”



“Refusing to shy away from harsh truths...SOLITARY offers a complicated portrait of 21st-century crime and punishment.”



“An act of wide-ranging compassion.”


Additional Press

In Solitary, Kristi Jacobson Finds that No Matter the Punishment, Humanity Remains , Paste Magazine , February 2017

A New Prison Documentary On HBO Reveals Life In Solitary ConfinementForbes, February 2017

Documentary Focuses On 'Voicelessness And Helplessness' Of Solitary Confinement , NPR- All Things Considered, February 2017

Documentary examines life inside America's supermax prisons , CBS News,  February 2017

Documentary set in Virginia super-max prison makes HBO premiere on Monday , Richmond Times- Dispatch,  February 2017

 Watch: A New Documentary’s Rare Access Inside Solitary , The Marshall Project , February 2017 

 A Devastating Look Into Isolation in “Solitary” , Washington Square News , January 2017 .

HBO's Solitary Confinement Documentary Looks Horrifying , Esquire, January 2017

Tribeca Film Fest: Filmmakers Talk Doc ‘Solitary’- Does Solitary Confinement Ever Make Sense? Reel Life With Jane, October 2016

What Living in a bathroom-sized room does to your mindThe Independent, August 2016

A Glimpse Into the Lives of Those Forced into Solitary ConfinementThe Innocence Project, July 2016

The AFI DOCS Interview: SOLITARY Director Kristi JacobsonAmerican Film Institute Magazine, June 2016

Film goes inside Virginia super-max, Bristol Herald Courier, May 2016

‘Solitary’ Tribeca Clip: Time-Stopping All-Access Look Inside A Supermax PrisonDeadline, April 2016

'Solitary' Tribeca ReviewThe Hollywood Reporter, April 2016

Film Review: 'Solitary', Variety, April 2016

At Tribeca, Journalistic Docs ShineDocumentary Magazine, April 2016

The Best and Worst Documentaries of the Tribeca Film FestivalFlavorwire, April 2016