What I Want My Words to Do to You (2002)

Genres - Culture & Society, Language & Literature  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Law & Crime, Literary Studies, Sociology  |   Run Time - 78 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The documentary What I Want My Words to Do to You offers a look at some actual rehabilitation at a women's maximum security prison. Directors Judith Katz, Madeleine Gavin, and Gary Sunshine used high-definition video cameras to capture an emotional reformation process for several incarcerated women. Activist and playwright Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues) conducted a writing workshop at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York. Some of the inmates were serving long sentences, including some members of the Vietnam war-era radical political group the Weather Underground. The convicts were asked to contemplate their crime and assess possibilities for their future, even if that means life imprisonment. After the workshop, the stories were then performed by actors with the entire prison population as the audience. The personal stories of the inmates shared a common theme of painful truths and acceptance. What I Want My Words to Do to You won the Freedom of Expression Award at the the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.



creativity, reading [recitation], self-discovery, self-expression, transformation, women's-prison, workshop [class], writing