Music From The Big House
Music From The Big House

Film Title


  • Sunday 25 March 6pm
  • Tickets £18/£15


87 mins (doc) + 90 mins (gig)

Director: Bruce McDonald Country: Canada
Writer: Tony Burgess, Erin Faith Young Original Format: HD
Dir. of Photography: Steve Cosens Print Source: Cache Film and Television
Producer: Jennifer St. John, Erin Faith Young
Cast: Rita Chiarelli

Event Details

Rita Ciarelli

Music From The Big House + Rita Chiarelli LIVE
Music from America's bloodiest prison

When? Sunday 25th March
Where? Leicester Square Theatre, London

* Documentary Screening - 6pm (87mins)
**Concert Doors 7.30pm / Onstage 7.45
(approx 90mins with interval)

Tickets: £18.00/ £15.00 Concs
Book Online Here

Rita Chiarelli, Canada's most highly acclaimed female roots and blues artist, has just released the soundtrack for her award-winning documentary, Music From The Big House.

Chiarelli is known across Canada as the "Goddess of the Blues" and is currently touring North America and Europe with a special stop at the Raindance. She is undeniably a gifted songwriter and entertaining performer, but it is Chiarelli's soaring three octave voice that sets her apart from her peers and often inspires tears in those who sit in awe and watch her weave her magic on stage.

Short Synopsis:

Music from the Big House chronicles stories of redemption in this musical journey into a maximum-security prison with recording artist Rita Chiareli and inmates serving life sentences.

Raindance Film Festival Review:

Music From The Big HouseWhen Canadian singer Rita Chiarelli decided to trace the roots of blues, she discovered the seminal role played by Louisiana State Maximum Security Penitentiary. With many big names passing through what was once one of the roughest prisons in America, the jail fostered its own unique sound that continues to this day. At first Rita thought she would put on a concert for the convicts, but she soon realised that their talent needed to be heard too. This sensitively shot documentary interweaves the preparation for that performance with the moving stories of the prisoners.

If blues music is an art that stems from suffering, this prison is a prime place for it to blossom. Many of the rapists and murderers held there know that they will die within its walls, yet when Rita interviews them it is the strength they draw from music that shines through. Produced by an Emmy and Oscar-nominated team, Music from the Big House is filmed in black and white, recalling the monochrome photographs we see of the prison’s original blues performers.

The salvation these men find in music make this something of a feel-good film, as well as a must-see for fans of the blues.

Abi Smith


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