Project Directors: Kit Gruelle, Rebecca Cerese and Cynthia Hill
Project Website: Click here
Photographs Provided By:Donna Ferrato
Private Violence is is a feature-length documentary film and complementary web-based educational outreach toolkit that will explore the complex issue of domestic violence through the stories of survivors, advocates, activists, domestic violence scholars, abusers, district attorneys, judges, healthcare workers and others who have devoted their lives to stopping this hidden crime. Woven throughout these stories of danger and survival, fatal indifference and courageous intervention, is the history of a social movement created over the past two hundred years.
The illusion that domestic violence only happens "over there" affecting "those kinds of people," belies national statistics that clearly demonstrate that domestic violence crosses all cultural, racial, socio-economic, religious, sexual and educational divides. Today, despite the continued marked improvement in how we perceive and act against domestic violence, there are still myths and assumptions that obscure the issues and hinder real progress toward ending the rising toll of spouse and child abuse and murder.
The feature-length documentary features personal stories shot in cinema verite style filmed primarily in Chatham County, North Carolina. The film also employs the classic elements of historical documentary, interweaving the perspectives of key figures in the movement through interviews that give context to the present. The film offers a complex and multi-layered mosaic of sounds, events and images related to domestic violence from the past and present. The audience views this world through the eyes of influential activists and advocates who have been involved in addressing this issue in their respective communities for decades. As we follow these individuals and the survivors and abusers they come in contact with, we experience the challenges facing them every day as they attempt to navigate through an often confusing and hostile system. These stories provide the narrative backbone of the film. The historical aspects of the documentary interviews, archival material, and statistics will inform viewers on how we got here.