2019 Social Justice Film Festival - Guest House
Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 7pm
Guest House is a documentary feature that captures a six-month period of life of three women previously incarcerated for non-violent crimes and now living together, taking the viewer through the realities of reintegration from the prison system and dissolving some of the “otherness” that makes us feel more comfortable with our system of justice.
The feature attempts to objectively illuminate just how unjust “justice” can be, and just how not “other” many of these women are. The viewer gets to know the hopes, dreams, desires, and disappointments of our protagonists, and gains insight into their choices. The house is full of diverse personalities driven by survival instincts: characters who use their humor and intelligence to deal with a broken justice system that contributes to the recidivism of its criminals.
By showing the crucial first six months of their recovery after incarceration, the filmmakers are able to show the reality of prisoners' re-entry into the community. While there are countless films made about prisons and dramatized, animalistic criminals, very few show the reality of most people who are incarcerated and what follows on their release. The intimate access and trust that the the filmmakers have with these women allows them to show the complexities of the daily ups and downs during this otherwise unseen period of their lives. Witnessing a time when these women are figuring out who they can trust - even themselves - the film hopes to turn it into something impactful from which social change can emerge.
(Hannah Dweck, Yael Luttwak, 75 min, USA)
Faith in Action (Titi Yu, 13 min, USA)
Over 70 million Americans, or 1 in 3 adults, have a criminal record, a status that can lead to a life sentence of poverty, reducing job seekers' chances of getting a job offer by nearly 50%. "Faith in Action" tells the story of how congregations are teaming up with their local legal community to help people who have criminal justice records expunge them so they can get their life back on track.
John Mendez: The Bridge (Mike Kuba, 15 min, USA)
John Mendez, a street outreach specialist in Montgomery county, near Washington, DC, is on the frontlines of the fight against homelessness. Often battling extreme cold in the middle of the night, he works tirelessly to find affordable housing for each individual living on the streets. Through insights into his past and present, this film is an intimate portrait that delves into what drives him to be a staunch advocate for the homeless.