SXSW Film

Interviews and reviews

SXSW Film

Cruel and Unusual

D: Janet Baus, Dan Hunt, Reid Williams

Ophelia robbed a bank with an unloaded gun. Ashley got in the habit of forging checks, Anna got bullied into armed robbery, Yolanda got busted for beating on somebody who called her a drag queen, and Linda resorted to stealing and selling copper wire because the roughnecks at the rigs wouldn't give her a job. Those are the crimes that sent each of these ladies to prison, and because all of these women were born male, they were locked up with men. And it is as awful for them as you can imagine. But this documentary is about more than the danger and humiliation that these women are forced to face. It is about how relentlessly unaccommodating our society is for people who don't fit into our black-and-white understanding of gender. It is about the dehumanizing nature of our prison system. Most of all, it is about five women who will break your heart with their courage, their stories, and their painful desire to just be themselves.

9:30pm, Alamo South Lamar

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