Life & Life : A Story of Redemption

(Documentary, United States, 2020, 79’, C, OV)

by NC Heikin

Life & Life : A Story of Redemption


Life & Life follows the journey of Reggie Austin, a jazz musician convicted of murder over forty years ago. With surprising honesty and depth, the film focuses on Reggie’s relationship with his fellow inmates, his efforts to reconnect with his family, and questions the practices of parole and sentencing through the musician’s story. Life & Life is the story of a struggle for redemption and hope against nearly impossible odds, accompanied by a soundtrack straight from Reggie’s heart.


« The problem of the massive incarceration in the U.S., racist at its root, is so huge it often feels overwhelming. Reggie’s story is a path into the deepest complexities of the issue. He is lucid about both the mistakes he did in his own life and and the inequities of our criminal justice system. He defies expectations and easy categorizations, which has led me to careful reflexion on the issues and deeper moral questions. To what degree do our prisons exist to punish perpetrators, protect the public, or reform those incarcerated? What should justice look like? Reggie can never bring back the life he took, but if he can bring change, it might be a redemption of its own. » NC Heikin

Film Author :

NC Heikin
NC Heikin

NC Heikin is an American writer, director and producer. Her first documentary, Kimjongilia (2009), about North Korean refugees and dissidents, premiered at Sundance and won the One World Human Rights Award. International best-selling author Michael Connelly produces her critically acclaimed film Sound of Redemption, The Frank Morgan Story (2014), which premieres at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival. It was during the filming of Sound of Redemption that Heikin met Reggie Austin. Life & Life wins the 2019 NYSCA grant. In the fall of 2018, NC completed the documentary Books and Music and a music video, about the collaboration of acclaimed author Lee Child with the roots band Naked Blue. Her screenplay Niki and Joan, about the 1959 meeting of artists Niki de Saint Phalle and Joan Mitchell, is invited to the European screenwriting lab, eQuinox.

Other movies: Connections

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