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On HBO – “An Omar Broadway Film” (Prisoner Sneaks Camera Into Prison To Record Abuse)

41582_128569317169478_6107_nAiring on HBO this Wednesday, July 14th, is a documentary called An Omar Broadway Film. In short, an incarcerated gang member (Omar Broadway, as the title says), serving a sentence for carjacking and other related offenses, sneaks a video camera into his 6 square feet solitary-confinement cell in a Newark high-security prison (with the help of “one or two” guards), in order to document on tape the use of excessive force and corruption among the institution’s guards, risking his life.

Footage was recorded over a six-month+ period of time, in 2004, and eventually edited, with the help of co-director Douglas Tirola on the “outside,” & 4th Row Films. The final edit screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008; And now HBO will air the controversial work.

I looked for any info on where Omar Broadway is currently, but none of the write-ups I read regarding the film said anything about that. I’d assume he’s out of prison, given that the film has been in circulation for a couple of years.

Trailer follows below:

15 comments to On HBO – “An Omar Broadway Film” (Prisoner Sneaks Camera Into Prison To Record Abuse)

  • OneBrownSnowPea

    Wow this looks really interesting. How did he get away with that? Well at least it will open people’s eyes to the prison system and the police brutality towards black men. This is coming out at a very interesting time because of the Oscar Grant Verdict. There needs to be a nation wide dialogue about police brutality but that will be a long time coming.

  • njeducator

    I REEEEEAAALLLY get the actions of the CO’s were out of control. I sincerely do. No prisoner is supposed 2 b treated inhumanely. BUUUUUUUTTT…

    Jail is NOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTT supposed 2 b comfortable. Ur NOOOOOOTTTTTTTTT supposed 2 WANT 2 b there. It’s supposed 2 b like HELL. It’s not a country club vacation. It should make u not want 2 do anything 2 return there because ur time was awful. Yet, this was not Omar’s initial “visit”.

    Millions of people will watch this film and gasp @ the actions of the CO’s. I’m gasping @ the fact that when I go 2 school in September, I am undoubtedly going 2 hear 1 of my 2nd graders talk about this “movie wit the … See Moreboy locked up that snuck da camera in” and think it’s the best thing ever that he is now on HBO and “famous in da hood”.

    So… My questions 2 Brother Broadway, wherever he is, are…

    Now that u have had this experience, how will u make a positive change in the lives of the young boys that c u as a hero 4 going 2 jail? How will u use the freedom u longed 4? Will u take our little boys under ur wing and influence them 2 change the world from a place other than a cell? Or will u just give classes on how 2 make covert videos if they end up there?

    I’m hoping u choose wisely Omar. Like it or not, being a role model comes with being famous (or even infamous) and young eyes are watching.

  • Craiger

    I missed the 7/14 showing on HBO2. Any ideas on when it will be on again?

  • I looked for this last night and did not see it, what time did it come on?

    • 8PM – at least that’s what it says on HBO’s website. I don’t have cable, so I didn’t see it.

      • Nah Broadway

        Omar broadway is my brother and he is currently under the damn jail in Maryland as a result of what everybody has seen. The documentry is now on HBO on demand. Everyone go check it out!!! And she is proud of her sons. Even though he didbwhat he did and has sat for all that time he has learned from his mistakes.. and he made it to hbo from a jail cell… give credit where its due..

  • Rhinosgirl

    I watched this movie on HBO last night. It looked like the camera would be turned on when the prisoners would hear something, so it looked like there was extreme force used, but you didn’t get to see what happened before the camera was turned on. Furthermore, it blew my mind that the Mother was proud of her “Blood” son, and not once did ANYONE mention why they were in jail (the beginning of the movie tells us that one was in for carjacking with a sawed off shotgun) nor did anyone express remorse. Unbelievable and sad.

  • david seth michaels

    Sadly, Omar in incarcerated in Maryland at this time.
    I hope he gets out soon

  • Maria

    You can watch the movie under HBO on Demand if you have cable . I loved the movie , I thought Omar was supposed to get out in 2009, why is he still locked up,
    for the tape maybe ?

    I thought it was terrible the abuse they suffered, but
    I’ve been locked up before and I did what I was told to do , they say get in your room and I went. Course this was not an adult prison, I was 12-14 years old in Tennessee. Been in adult jail twice, and that was 30 years ago , no more for me .

    I’d like to write Omar , I think I will . I”m glad he
    made the tapes, sad his mother only sold 30 something copies .

  • James

    Ok we get it! These are criminals. Many who have committed terribly violent crimes. Again, we get it. That however doesn’t make them any less human than those they committed crimes against. The fact of the matter is, that law enforcement is supposed to be h4ld to a higher standard. If they weren’t officers or “over seers”, and committed these same acts in the streets that they are now committing against prisoners, they’d be sharing a sell in that same prison. I live less than 10 mins away from Northern State. While I don’t condone the crimes committed, nor make excuses for those who committed them, that doesn’t give anyone the right to treat them like animal.

  • SP

    I watched this film last night and found myself disturbed for many reasons. First, I would like to say “thank you” to Omar for doing what you felt was best to expose the cruelty inside that horrid environment. I do want to say this behavior is so commonplace in and out of jail that it was not a surprise that this footage didn’t take flight. Very clever that you were able to successfully pull this off; keep the faith and make it a habit (when you get out) to deter those who may be vulnerable in certain situations to stray away from activities with ill intentions! Peace

  • MD Martin

    I thought this film was pointless really. The footage they showed of abuse was really correctional officers doing their jobs. The first footage they had of so called abuse was two gentlemen “egging” on 10 officer even after being maced. These men could be murders or have one of the weapons that the film makers showed were not difficult to obtain. The officers did punch the men, got them on the ground and detained them. I really didnt see any brutality. It was pathetic how they complained about the food they recieved and how they had to use the bathroom in a joint room. IT IS JAIL! It is not supposed to be a comfortable place you did something terrible wrong like armed robbery to get there. Sorry if the accomidations are not up to standards. What a waste of my time, what the film on Iraq prisons if you think you are abused.

  • Mo

    I must start by saying I do not agree with excessive force on the immate population.. PERIOD

    The instances I saw in the film all were related to inmates refusing to return to there cells. I do not understand what the inmates thought would be the out come. It is prison.. The inmates are supposed to be in a cell.

    I also thought it very ironic that hardened criminals who commited all manner of violence on the street, in many cases against innocent law abiding citizens are sooo concerned when what they perceive as brutal or excessive force aimed at them.


  • MarKe J

    Extremely late comment but….. To all the comments “it’s prison it’s supposed to be hell etc” It’s supposed to rehabilitate these young men to do something better with their lives upon release, but instead it scars them emotionally and physically. These MEN return to our communities without the basic self worth in order to strive for more and take their roll as a strong black father, son or brother. This cycle and lack of a reasonable education in schools is the reasons and calculated cause for the break down in the black community. Thank you Omar I admire your bravery and hope the raw imagery induced more compassion then ignorance.