[Glawogger's] film is more of an abstract poem which builds a scenic chasm between sound and images... [Madsen's segment] works as a neat debate starter between those who feel that prison needs to be a punishment and those who feel it should be concerned with rehabilitation.
Shot in exceptionally dark tones — though this seems right after a while — the close-ups [in the Glawogger short] bring out the vibrancy of antique manuscripts, some with hand-drawn precious illustrations. You can practically hear the creak as the pages turn. Another standout is the film by Danish director Michael Madsen on the Halden Prison in Norway, the "world's most humane prison."
All six [films] are lighter works than, say, the kind of movies about architecture that Heinz Emigholz has made. Still, with a film running in two parts, at a combined length of 168 minutes, you might wish you could walk on by certain stretches instead of staying seated.