For the Time Being

Filmstill For the Time Being

For the Time Being

For the Time Being
Nele Dehnenkamp
DOK im Knast 2023
Documentary Film
90 minutes

At the beginning Michelle Bastien-Archer shows and comments on photos of her wedding. The African-American and her childhood friend Jermaine were married in the unhospitable visitors’ hall of Sing Sing in 2007. He had been sentenced to 22 years to life for voluntary manslaughter in 1998. Ever since, she has been fighting tirelessly to prove his innocence. Now new documents have turned up that reinforce doubts about the trial’s decisive witness statement. Michelle becomes more confident. She presses even more determinedly ahead with her efforts to get Jermaine released. The camera is with her as if live, for almost a decade.

It feels like a thriller whose script was written by life and the U.S. American justice system. Daily life under exceptional circumstances, scenes from an unusual marriage. Timed phone calls from prison, countless visits to the lawyer, appearances at solidarity events for wrongly convicted African Americans. Michelle works as a house painter for the City of New York, raising her two children alone. We learn in passing that their biological father was the victim of a brutal crime. The portrait of a confident woman who shares her fears and hopes with us emerges.

Anke Leweke

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Nele Dehnenkamp
Nele Dehnenkamp
Nele Dehnenkamp
Nele Dehnenkamp, Christine Duttlinger
Winner of: Gedanken Aufschluss Prize