Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman's 35th cinéma vérité documentary, Domestic Violence was first given limited theatrical release in January 2002. Its extreme length necessitated its being presented in two separate parts, duly titled Domestic Violence and Domestic Violence 2. The first part, which ran 196 minutes theatrically, utilized Wiseman's famed "eavesdropping camera" technique to explore the inner workings of The Spring, a battered-spouse shelter in Tampa, FL. The eyewitness accounts of the real-life abuse victims, presented in long, uninterrupted takes, is far more eloquent and horrifying than if Wiseman had chosen to re-enact the violence itself. Part two, also running approximately 196 minutes, was filmed within the Florida court system, dispassionately demonstrating the frustrations inherent in bringing habitual spousal abusers to justice. Most American viewers first saw Domestic Violence when it was telecast as a two-part miniseries by PBS on March 18 and 19, 2003.
domestic-violence, anger-management, coping, group-therapy, intervention, police, safe-house, shelter, therapist