Belly of the Beast

Belly of the Beast

Czech premiere

In California, a former prisoner and a lawyer launch into a years-long battle with a system that, despite the law, takes away some women’s right to bring a new life into the world.

The documentary reveals the illegal practices found in California’s women’s prisons, including poor healthcare, sexual abuse, and even illegal sterilisation without the prisoners’ knowledge or consent. For the most part, the victims of these practices are women of colour. The film tracks the 7-years-long efforts of former prisoner Kelli Dillon, who was involuntarily sterilised by the state when she was 24, and lawyer Cynthia Chandler to uncover a systematic breach of women prisoners’ rights and obtain justice for women who have become victims of “modern eugenics” in the 21st century. From 1997 to 2014 more than a thousand women were forced to undergo sterilisation in California prisons.

Impact

The documentary Belly of the Beast helped draw significant attention to a reprehensible practice in Californian prisons: the involuntary sterilisation of female prisoners, often women of colour. The film helped bring the issue into the public debate, and the impact campaign that linked to it then helped bring about compensation for women who had been sterilised and betrayed by the system. This film can not only present a powerful theme, but also offer possible solutions and help. https://www.bellyofthebeastfilm.com/take-action

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About the film

USA
2020 / 82 min.

Director
Erika Cohn

Language
English

Subtitles
Czech

Director

Erika Cohn

Erika Cohn

2020 - Belly of the Beast
2017 - The Judge
2015 - In Football We Trust

Screenings

25. 3.
18:00 h
Praha: Atlas MS
Discussion
Gwendolyn Albert, human rights activist
28. 3.
18:00 h
Praha: Světozor VS
Discussion
Angela Tucker, producer

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