Join us for a free, members-only screening of the documentary Mothers of Bedford by Jenifer McShane. After the screening, stay for a Q&A with McShane.
Mothers of Bedford
Many parents find it hard to imagine being away from a child for a week. Imagine being separated for ten or twenty years? Mothers of Bedford explores the effects of a long-term prison sentence on the mother-child relationship. The film follows five mothers incarcerated at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and their families, who manage in their absence. It shows the normal frustrations of parenting as well as the surreal experiences of a child's first birthday party inside prison, the cell that child lives in with her mother, and the biggest celebration of the year, Mother's Day in prison!
Eighty percent of women in US prisons today are mothers of school-age children. Filmmaker Jenifer McShane spent four years visiting Bedford Hills and following the women and their families. A mother herself, McShane was drawn to the universal themes of motherhood and the staggering power of the mother-child relationship. In all walks of life, mother and child care for each other. As we watch the mothers inside Bedford trying to become their better selves, we see parts of our own selves—and that gives us all hope.
The documentary premiered at Hot Docs 2011 and continues to screen at festivals and in independent theaters across the country.
Jenifer McShane began her career at CBS News, then premiered her first documentary, A Leap of Faith, in competition at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival. A Leap of Faith, narrated by Liam Neeson, documents the journey of a group of parents opening an integrated school for their Catholic and Protestant children in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are made possible, in part, by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts, the New York State Legislature and Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Foundation.
Last updated: Jun. 19, 2012