"Prison Valley was a common example at Visible Evidence for those discussing new directions in documentary. I’m going to criticise it here, but I want to be very clear about why.
It is also an intriguing project in relation to how and what it says about place, and while the locals might not like it, for those of us outside the USA it accurately plays out that strange dichotomy of ‘small government’ versus the extraordinary pervasiveness of ‘big government’ everywhere through agencies of policing and the military.
However, in what will become the history of online documentary, and what I think will more accurately need to become online nonfiction (more about that another time), these sorts of works will matter for drawing a line in the sand much more than for what they specifically do.
Prison Valley could well be online documentary’s Nanook of the North, (which is no small claim) with all that that entails, the positive and the negative."