2014 Lone Star Film Festival: The Cooler Bandits
Over two decades ago, a group of teenagers made the choice to engage in a series of robberies, not understanding that the serious consequences of their actions would alter the rest of their lives. Although no one was physically injured, they received stiff prison sentences of up to 500 years.
From 2006-3013, The Cooler Bandits has followed the journey of four friends in four stages of incarceration, struggling to confront their future after two decades of incarceration. The film humanizes the staggering statistic of African- American men branded “felon” for life.
After 20 years - their entire adult lives - of incarceration, possible parole nears for Poochie and Charlie. How will they adapt to the changed landscape? Having never seen a cell phone, how will they navigate the new technological age?
Entering back into the free world with $80 in gate pay, the worst recession since the great depression, locked out of housing, most jobs and public assistance because of their felony convictions, how will they cope? Will they get their shot at redemption? Is “felon” the new “N” word?