prison and society
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a documentary about transgender women in men's prison in the USA

Women, transgender women such as Ashley, Linda, Anna, Yolanda and Ophelia, are incarcerated in men's prisons across the U.S. from Wyoming to New Jersey and Florida. Denied medical and psychological treatment, victims of rape and violence, the documentary Cruel and Unusual asks if the punishment for their crime is indeed cruel and unusual?
Making its major festival premier at South by Southwest, Cruel and Unusual (2006, 66 minutes) is an unflinching documentary on the lives of transgender women in men's prisons. Shot over three years, this high-definition documentary film challenges the viewer's basic ideas about gender and justice through braids of poignantly graphic stories, vibrant landscape portraits and stark prison footage.
Prisons decide where to place inmates based on their genitalia, not their gender identity. Ophelia, who has lived in the prison of a man's body for all of her 46 years, now resides in a correctional facility in Virginia, having been sentenced to 67 years for bank robbery with an unloaded gun. Denied female hormone treatment, Ophelia felt she had no choice but to mutilate her genitals to force the system "to finish what she started."

TransgenderFrauen wie Ashley, Linda, Anna Yolanda und Ophelia sitzen ein in den Knästen quer durch die USA von Wyoming New Jersey und Florida.Sie wurden Opfer von Vergewaltigung und Gewalt, jegliche medizinische und psychologische Behandlung wird ihnen verweigert. Die Dokumentation geht der Frage auf den Grund ob ihre Behandlung gegen den 8. Zusatz der Verfassung der USA verstösst. Dieser Zusatz verbietet "ungewöhnlich grausame" Strafen.

CRUEL AND UNUSUAL Directed by Janet Baus, Dan Hunt, Reid Williams
USA / 2006 / 66 minutes
(Untertitel von a.r.a.p.)

FILMSCREENING with discussion
18. April 2007 20h / AHA Mehringdamm 61 HH / 10961 Berlin

organised by a.r.a.p.

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