Directed by Frederick Wiseman (USA, 2002, 160 min.). Digibeta.

Domestic Violence 2 takes place in the arraignment, misdemeanor, and injunction courts in Hillsborough County, Tampa, Florida. The courts deal with issues such as bail bonds, release pending trial, the specific context of injunctions regulating time and place of parental visits, restraining orders, contact with children, support payments, and the court’s decision about fault and punishment. The judges and lawyers ask questions which elicit the stories of couples’ relationships and the specific form of violence between them.

“Amazingly, these films take in an entire system — the couples, the shelter, the law, its enforcement — without losing sight of the people.
At the heart of Domestic Violence 2 is the question of how two people get to that point of standing before an exasperated judge who decides to break them up. Sometimes it’s against the couple’s wishes and usually it’s for the sake of the children. But the courtrooms are packed houses of these destructively wayward misalliances taken to their legal limit.” –Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe

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