Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Heartland Film Festival
Mil Valley Film Festival
An Emmy winner in the Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary category, Belly of the Beast follows a courageous young woman and a radical lawyer as they discover a pattern of illegal sterilizations in California’s women’s prisons. With a growing team of investigators inside prison working with colleagues on the outside, they uncover a series of statewide crimes - from inadequate health care to sexual assault to coercive sterilizations - primarily targeting women of color. This shocking legal drama captured over 7-years features extraordinary access and intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated people, demanding attention to a shameful and ongoing legacy of eugenics and reproductive injustice in the United States.
USA - 2020 - 1h 22m
Directed By: Erika Cohn
Director Biography - Erika Cohn
Erika Cohn is a two-time Emmy, Peabody and DGA Award-winning filmmaker who Variety recognized as one of 2017’s top documentary filmmakers to watch and was featured in DOC NYC’s 2019 “40 Under 40.” Most recently, Erika directed/produced the New York Times Critics Pick, Emmy Award-winning and Peabody nominated BELLY OF THE BEAST, featuring the 2021 Oscar shortlisted original song, “See What You’ve Done” by Mary J. Blige. This powerful expose´ of human rights abuses in women’s prisons opened in theatres and was broadcast on PBS’ Independent Lens series last fall. Her current releases also include The New York Times Op-Docs short film, WHAT YOU’LL REMEMBER, a beautiful portrait of a family who reframes their experience of homelessness, now playing in theatres and major film festivals. Previously, Erika directed/produced THE JUDGE, a Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated film about the first woman judge appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a courts, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS’ 2018 Independent Lens series. She co-directed/produced IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST, an Emmy award-winning, feature documentary about young Pacific Islander men pursuing their dreams of playing professional football, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS’ 2016 Independent Lens series.