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Reviews & Quotes

Video Librarian ★★★

T. Keogh

"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."

"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."

"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.”

“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."

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 Native men returning to Hawaii after a cultural reawakening at a private prison in the Arizona desert.

Criminal Justice • Men’s Studies • Mental Health
American Studies • Indigenous Studies • Pacific Islander Studies
2017. Director & Producer Ciara Lacy. Producer Beau Bassett.
79 Minutes. Transcript Available.


Shipped thousands of miles away from the tropical islands of Hawaii to a private prison in the Arizona desert, two native Hawaiians discover their indigenous traditions from a fellow inmate serving a life sentence. It's from this unlikely setting that David and Hale finish their terms and return to Hawaii, hoping for a fresh start. Eager to prove to themselves and to their families that this experience has changed them forever, David and Hale struggle with the hurdles of life as formerly incarcerated men, asking the question: can you really go home again?