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It’s widely agreed that the issue of domestic violence isn’t talked about enough, even when it involves celebrities like Rihanna or Ray Rice. Start the conversation by checking out these five documentaries that explore different aspects of DV and then sharing them with others.
Power and Control: Domestic Violence in America. While following one brave woman and her three children as she flees an abusive husband, Power and Control demonstrates the complexities of escaping violence and helps answer the question, “Why don’t they just leave?” The 2010 documentary directed by Peter Cohn explores the shocking persistence of violence against women through unstable economic times. You can purchase a DVD of the documentary by clicking the link above, or you can access a 3-day stream for $4.99 here.
Private Violence. This 2014 Dallas International Film Festival winner by HBO explores the disturbing fact that the most dangerous place for a woman in America is her own home. The film features two women, a survivor and an advocate, as they attempt to change the conversation about domestic violence to focus on why abusers abuse rather than why survivors stay. DomesticShelters.org interviewed one of the film’s participants, Kit Gruelle. Read her story of survival here.
Telling Amy’s Story. Hosted by actress and activist Mariska Hargitay, this film delves into the story of a woman who was killed by her abuser in 2001. Interviews with the case detective shed light on domestic violence in otherwise low-crime areas like central Pennsylvania. This film won the Golden Eagle award at the 2011 CINE Golden Eagle Competition. You can purchase a DVD of the film here.
The Children Next Door. This documentary, winner of several awards at film festivals across the nation in 2012 and 2013, tells the story of two siblings who witnessed years of abuse throughout childhood. The film, directed by Doug Block, opens five years after one particularly horrific night of violence and follows the young family through a turn of events that can only be described as astonishing. You can watch the trailer on Vimeo here.
One Minute to Nine. This 2007 film was re-edited and retitled as Every F*ing Day of My Life by HBO in 2009. The new title was inspired by the answer the woman featured in the film gave to the emergency services operator when asked if her husband ever abused her. The documentary chronicles the five days leading up to her incarceration after being convicted of manslaughter against her abuser. You can watch the film through DocumentaryStorm here.
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