Music from the Big House

DVD Release: December 4, 2012
Music from the Big House


In MUSIC FROM THE BIG HOUSE, Rita Chiarelli, Canada’s Queen of the Blues, takes a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the Blues: Louisiana State Maximum Security Penitentiary, a.k.a Angola Prison – formerly the bloodiest prison in America. Rita’s trip turns into an unprecedented historic jailhouse performance, playing with – rather than for – musician inmates serving life sentences. Their shared bond of music, and Chiarelli’s ebullient personality, draw striking revelations from the inmates. Rather than sensational stories of convicts, we witness remarkable voices of hope as their love of music radiates humanity and redemption on their quest for forgiveness.

Dove Review

This documentary shows that bars cannot keep out God’s amazing love! It is about several prisoners who live at a prison that was a former plantation on six thousand acres in Louisiana. The history of the plantation and how it became a prison is given.

Rita Chiarelli, known as Canada’s Queen of the Blues, goes into the prison and jams with the inmates. The music is remarkable and features blues, jazz and gospel. Due to the sophisticated themes of the prisoners, crimes committed and prison life in general, we are recommending this one for our Dove “Faith Friendly” Seal for ages twelve plus as it does speak of the changes the Lord made in the lives of the prisoners. See this one and know that change is possible!

Content Description

Sex: Kissing by a few couples.
Language: Sucker-1
Violence: Talk of various crimes including a man killing someone while he was on drugs.
Drugs: Female guard smokes a cigarette; a home movie includes a man holding a beer and a photo of a man smoking.
Nudity: None
Other: Crimes of the inmates are listed at the end during the credits; sophisticated themes of prisoners and prison life.


Company: Matson Films
Writer: Erin Faith Young & Tony Burgess
Director: Bruce McDonald
Producer: Erin Faith Young & Jennifer St. John
Genre: Documentary
Runtime: 80 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter