“Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades in Solitary Confinement, My Story of Transformation and Hope,” the Albert Woodfox memoir that recounts the 43 years he spent in the Louisiana State Penitentiary (more commonly known as Angola Prison) in solitary confinement, has been bought by Fox Searchlight, Deadline reported yesterday (June 4).
Actor Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”), who is reportedly pushing to star in the film, has signed on as an executive producer. The two-time Academy Award-winner is no stranger to playing complex characters or dramatic roles, and he’s currently in the running for an Emmy nomination this year for his work in the HBO series “True Detective.”
Woodfox, who was released from prison in February 2016 on his 69th birthday, lived in a six- by nine-foot cell for 23 hours a day as punishment for a crime he has always maintained that he didn’t commit. Colorlines previously reported:
In 1972, while serving a five-year bid in the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola for armed robbery, Albert Woodfox was convicted for allegedly working with fellow inmate Herman Wallace to stab and kill a guard. The two men maintained that they did not commit the crime, but were targeted and isolated because they founded a chapter of the Black Panther Party to address conditions inside the prison. Woodfox, Wallace and Robert King (who was accused of murdering another [incarcerated person]), were placed in perpetual solitary confinement, earning them the name the Angola 3.
Woodfox’s memoir is described as a “call to reform the inhumanity of solitary confinement in the U.S. and around the world,” on his publisher’s website. Woodfox, King and Wallace became activists as they “endured a combined total of 114 years in solitary confinement,” according to the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3. Woodfox, the last of the three to be released, is said to have survived the longest time in solitary confinement in the United States, per Free the Angola 3.