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"great opening credits"?

Anne Dalke's picture

am also wondering what folks think about this form of representation?



sara.gladwin's picture

"Every Sentence is a Story"

It is interesting that they note that Piper Kerman, who is the author of the Memoir the show is based on, is included in the photographs as "the blue-eyed woman who blinks at the 1:02 mark." Even though the creator of the show specifically wanted the opening credits to convey that the show was not just about one white woman's experience in Prison but many stories from different women, including queer women and women of color, it would seem that the structure of the montage still forefront's Piper as the storyteller. Having Piper blink slowly on camera draws emphasis to her eyes in a way that singles her out as different from the other faces. I probably could not describe in vivid detail all the faces shown, but as I was reading the article and they mentioned Piper blinking, I remembered exactly what part of the opening credits they were describing. By calling attention to her as different, Piper becomes one of the most memorable parts of the montage. We are unable to forget that ultimately, everything is told through Piper’s eyes, no matter how inclusive the show has been of diverse stories. To the extent of my knowledge, none of the other women Piper encounters in Prison have published and written successful memoirs, not to mention inspired television shows. There is a way in which Piper's voice, story and person is significantly more mobile, and can travel to reach a much larger audience. However, we will never actually know the names and stories of the real women are photographed and shown alongside Piper. I wish that more people were aware from the beginning of who those pictures were of, and that the show in some way could more directly use it’s popularity to draw attention to the Prison system and/or support formerly incarcerated women. Although the show has already inspired many conversations about the Prison system, I think there is always more direct work that could be done.

All this being said, I still appreciate that they used formerly incarcerated women, and that the aim of the show is to forefront many kinds of stories rather than one or two stereotypes of female prisoners.