Natural Life


Michigan is one of forty-one states that allow a sentence of life without possibility of parole (natural life) to be imposed on youth who committed their crime prior to the age of eighteen.

Natural Life, a feature length video documentary, will challenge the inequities in the juvenile justice system in the United States by depicting the stories of four individuals incarcerated since youth. The piece, a combined effort of the Law Offices of Deborah LaBelle (LODL) and video artist / filmmaker Tirtza Even, will tell these stories from angles ranging from the legislators and victims’ family members to the incarcerated themselves. The interviews will be interwoven with staged, animated and documented moments from prison, from court and from the crime scenes. Our goal is ultimately to bring to an end the juvenile life without parole sentence in Michigan, and obtain release opportunities for those currently serving this sentence.

Direction: Tirtza Even, Editing: Meredith Zielke, Cinematography: Yoni Goldstein