Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) | Reviewed by Brad Eden, Ph.D., Independent Scholar and Librarian, Valparaiso, IN
"This film looks at the criminal justice system and incarceration policy in Hawaii with regard to its native population. Native Hawaiians who break the law, especially those who are male, are shipped thousands of miles to a private prison in the Arizona desert to serve their sentences. Disturbing statistics indicate a negative bias and an over-representation of native Hawaiians as inmates or parolees. Two men caught in this web of ethical and criminal prejudice are profiled as they attempt to reintegrate themselves back into Hawaiian society after their incarceration in Arizona. I highly recommend this movie for higher education classes in criminal justice, men's studies, indigenous studies, and Pacific Islander studies."
Video Librarian ★★★
"Lacy’s access to so many personal moments behind bars and in the lives of her two subjects is remarkable. A powerful documentary, this is recommended."
Library Journal | Joshua Peck, Pioneer Library System
"Out of State follows a small group of men on their shared journeys inside and outside prison. Recommended for all libraries in Hawaii and with Hawaiian populations."
Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU | Amita Manghnani
"Out of State is a gripping portrayal of life for Native Hawaiians under U.S. occupation, and within the U.S. criminal justice system. Through the stories of David and Hale, the film weaves together some of the most critical issues of our moment -- mass incarceration, rapidly growing economic inequality, Hawaiian sovereignty, and Indigenous cultural resurgence. Out of State is a powerful teaching and organizing tool to further understanding of the way that empire both operates and is resisted."
CINEMACY | Morgan Rojas
"Exposing the wisdom and hardships they gained throughout their turbulent journey, Out of State is a film worth rooting for... Ciara Lacy is a native Hawaiian and her approach in humanizing and sympathizing with convicted criminals is a testament to her directorial skills."
Yerba Buena High School | Student Testimonials
"The film was great, it gave me insight as to what it's like in prison and how it changes people's lives. It gave me a whole new view on the Hawaiian culture because of how dedicated they can be to their culture. I liked the performances and am now wanting to watch one live. I felt sympathy for those who changed. It's sad that they learned about their culture in prison. This made me think about the world's whole colonization problem. The movie overall was interesting and kept my attention."
"I enjoyed watching Out of State because everyone tells me if you go to prison you'll never be able to get back on your feet but this movie shows that they’re wrong. You can get back on your feet."
"Out of State was a great film, because it has serous topics that I feel like our community can relate to like drugs and incarceration, and to me personally I have some family members that have gone through it. The film is also great because it shows that people can change and you don't have to let your past determine your future."