Directed by Frederick Wiseman (USA, 2001, 196 min.). Digibeta.

Domestic Violence shows the Tampa, Florida, police responding to domestic violence calls and the work of The Spring, the principal shelter in Tampa for women and children. Sequences with the police include police response, intervention, and attempted resolution of domestic violence calls. Sequences at the shelter include intake interviews; individual counseling sessions; anger management training; group therapy; staff meetings; conversations among clients and between clients and staff; and school activities, therapy, and counseling for children at the shelter.

“We think we know these families until one woman talks about her husband’s contempt for her education, which includes a doctorate. With that brief fact, dropped simply into conversation as the woman describes her life to a crisis counselor, Domestic Violence immediately shocks us out of our complacency. Domestic Violence is ultimately the most compassionate of all the Wiseman films. We come out of it feeling that change is possible, even as the film circles back to where it started.” —Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

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