Film: The Cooler Bandits

January 26, 2015

The University of Redlands Race and Ethnic Studies Department, Campus Diversity and Inclusion and Multicultural Center will present a screening of John Lucas’ remarkable film, The Cooler Bandits, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27 in Orton Center on the University of Redlands campus. This event is free and open to the public. 

About the Film 

In 1991, four African-American teenagers made the choice to engage in a series of robberies without considering how the consequences of their actions would irrevocably alter their lives. Although no one was physically injured, these young men received sentences of up to 500 years. 

From 2006-2013, director John Lucas follows the unfathomable journeys of Charlie Kelly, Donovan Harris, Richard “Poochie” Roderick and Frankie Porter as they cope and survive despite the harsh realities of prison. 

The Cooler Bandits documents these men in their respective stages of incarceration as they fight to maintain relationships with family and friends, and reintegrate into society after spending their adult lives incarcerated. 

This film screening includes a special opportunity to discuss this inspiring film with director John Lucas and Richard “Poochie” Roderick, one of the men featured in the film. This film and our conversations will humanize abstract debates about the criminal justice system and urge all of us toward empathy and action. 

Special Advisor to the President and Associate Dean for Campus Diversity and Inclusion Leela MadhavaRau said, “There can be no better time for John Lucas to bring this film to our campus. We hope that it will be the catalyst for further dialogue about both the criminal justice system in the United States and the ramifications of incarceration.” 

For more information, please contact Race and Ethnic Studies Professor Jennifer Tilton at 909-748-8506.