Review: 'The Sentence' takes a personal and horrifying look at the effect of mandatory minimum prison sentences - LA Times Review

From the Los Angeles Times

The most memorable documentaries often play the long game, sticking around for years to see how things work out. In Steve James’ landmark “Hoop Dreams,” for instance, the choice was voluntary. In the gripping “The Sentence” it was more like an emotional compulsion.

Rudy Valdez was a New York-based working documentary cinematographer in 2007 when the unthinkable happened: his older sister Cynthia Shank, the sibling who’d always looked out for him, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison due to circumstances that would have been absurd if the consequences weren’t so deadly serious.

Hoping to provide his sister, the mother of three young daughters, with a record of the events she was missing, Valdez would periodically journey from New York to the Shank home in Michigan to film family milestones.

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