Lucas Guilkey | Documentary Filmmaker and Video Journalist

The Story of the California Prisoner Hunger Strikes Against Solitary Confinement


The UN. expert on torture has said that more than 15 days of solitary confinement causes "severe mental pain and suffering" and should be permanently banned across the world. Yet recently, California isolated it's citizens in windowless concrete cells for decades.

That all changed several years ago when prisoners organized an unprecedented movement for reform.

Dying for Sunlight is a documentary film about what is likely the largest hunger strike in U.S. history—which at its peak in 2013, involved 30,000 prisoners, one fourth of the entire California prison system—and ultimately abolished indefinite solitary confinement in California prisons.

This documentary will explore the physical and psychological conditions of solitary confinement, how such a large, life-threatening, and successful hunger strike was organized and executed, and the current state of isolation in California prisons. It is currently in production.

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All content produced, written, directed, shot, & edited by Lucas Guilkey, unless otherwise specified.

©Lucas Guilkey