“Mothers of Bedford” (2011) (93 min)
Women are the fastest-growing U.S. prison population today. Eighty percent are mothers of school-age children. Jenifer McShane’s absorbing documentary gives human dimensions to these rarely reported statistics, taking us inside Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison north of New York City.
Shot over four years, MOTHERS OF BEDFORD follows five women – of diverse backgrounds and incarcerated for different reasons- in dual struggles to be engaged in their children’s lives and become their better selves. It shows how long-term sentences affect mother-child relationships and how Bedford’s innovative Children’s Center helps women maintain and improve bonds with children and adult relatives awaiting their return. Whether it be parenting’s normal frustrations to celebrating a special day, from both inside and out of the prison walls, this moving film provides unprecedented access to a little known, rarely shown, community of women.
Winner of Best Documentary at Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival. Running Time 97 minutes. Filmmaker: Jenifer McShane