The story of the battle to free Debbie Peagler, an incarcerated survivor of brutal domestic violence. Over 26 years in prison cannot crush the spirit of this determined African-American ... See full summary »
The story of the battle to free Debbie Peagler, an incarcerated survivor of brutal domestic violence. Over 26 years in prison cannot crush the spirit of this determined African-American woman, despite the injustices she has experienced, first at the hands of a duplicitous boyfriend who beat her and forced her into prostitution, and later by prosecutors who cornered her into a life behind bars for her connection to the murder of her abuser. Her story takes an unexpected turn two decades later when a pair of rookie land-use attorneys cut their teeth on her case -- and attract global attention to the troubled intersection of domestic violence and criminal justice. Written by
This is simply a riveting and intensely moving documentary on an important subject. It was shot over a period of years, and the true story takes unexpected turns; I was reminded of Hoop Dreams. Perhaps I'm biased because I've had first-hand experience with out horribly flawed justice system*, so let's just say that if you are interested in the subject, you *have* to see this.
I saw 17 documentaries that were released in 2011, and it was a great year for them. I'm a ferociously tough grader; an 8 is an A- grade. Pina earned a 10 (A+) for its use of 3D, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead earned a 9 (A) for being life-changing, and this led the 8's ahead of Bill Cunningham New York, If a Tree Falls, and We Were Here. The 7's (equivalent to a B+ grade) were Project Nim, The Interrupters, Into The Abyss, and Senna. If you see a lot of docs, that should give you an idea of just how good I thought this was. See it!
* My roommate was convicted of a crime after my exonerating testimony was thrown out by a judge's egregious error. The verdict was overturned unanimously on appeal, but not until he'd spent nearly two years in prison.
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