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Criminal Justice
Domestic Violence - US
Violence Against Women
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Private Violence
A film directed and produced by Cynthia Hill
2014, 77 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. W151151
EmmyTM Nominated PRIVATE VIOLENCE explores a simple but deeply disturbing fact of American life: the most dangerous place for a woman in America is her own home. Every day in the U.S., at least four women are murdered by abusive (and often, ex) partners. Through the eyes of two survivors—Deanna Walters, a mother who seeks justice for the crimes committed against her at the hands of her estranged husband, and Kit Gruelle, an advocate who seeks justice for all women—we bear witness to the complex realities of intimate partner violence. Their experiences challenge entrenched and misleading assumptions, providing a lens into a world that is largely invisible; a world we have locked behind closed doors with our silence, our laws and our lack of understanding. PRIVATE VIOLENCE begins to shape powerful, new questions that hold the potential to change our society: "Why does he abuse?" "Why do we turn away?" "How do we begin to build a future without domestic violence?"


Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights
Dallas International Film Festival, Silver Heart Award
16th Annual WIN Awards, Best Documentary Film
Nominee, EmmyTM Award

  • Sundance Film Festival
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival
  • T/F Film Fest
  • DOXA Documentary Film Festival
  • New Orleans Film Festival
  • Heartland Film Festival
  • Bolderlife Film Festival

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    "This potent documentary is a natural for public/educational tube slots, and should have an afterlife in classroom and organizational settings."

    "PRVIATE VIOLENCE begins to shape powerful, new questions that hold the potential to change our society..."
    Human Rights Watch Film Festival

    "Hill's work lingers and probes with an urgent, comprehensive call to action. PRIVATE VIOLENCE is…insistent that its troubles can be confronted head-on."
    Slant Magazine

    "It is a disturbing, emotional, painful, infuriating, and hard-to-watch film but it is an important one. Just by being truthful and honest with its subjects, Cynthia Hill's film feels like a call to action. Listen to it."
    Film Threat

    "...a tough, compelling and important documentary."
    News & Observer

    "An intimate and powerful exploration of domestic violence."
    What Not Doc

    "There have been many documentaries on this topic...none can touch the power, sensitivity, and explanatory skill of this one."

    "This film is hard to watch -- but that's exactly why you need to."
    The Huffington Post

    "PRIVATE VIOLENCE is a directive American trauma thinkpiece, insistent that its troubles can be confronted head-on."
    Slant Magazine

    "The obstacles against effectively protecting battered women & prosecuting their abusers are vividly illustrated."

    "PRIVATE VIOLENCE illustrates not only how much domestic abuse slips through the legal and social cracks of society, but also how poorly we understand the victim's point of view."
    The Daily Beast

    “PRIVATE VIOLENCE…shows with shocking clarity that the worst of such cases rarely involve just a single punch, and that the problem is far more entrenched than a trending-on-Twitter moment makes it seem."
    NY Times

    "PRIVATE VIOLENCE makes painfully clear the emotional and legal hurdles battered women endure just to feel safe again in or outside the home. Brisk and disturbing, it should be an eye-opener to anyone whose understanding of domestic violence amounts to the ignorant suggestion, "Why didn't you leave?"
    LA Times

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    Private Violence is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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