Private Violence



Sundance Institute | Candescent Award

Private Violence was a Candescent Award winner at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The Candescent Award was created by Lilly Hartley in partnership with the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (DFP) and is awarded to powerful social issue films that have been supported during production by the DFP and that premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Candescent is a supporter of the Sundance Institute and believes in the exceptional mentors, filmmakers and leaders that create a sense of community through the Sundance Institute DFP.


Private Violence explores a simple, but disturbing fact of American life: the most dangerous place for a woman in America is her home. Every day in the US, at least four women are murdered by abusive (and often, ex) partners. The knee-jerk response is to ask: “Why doesn’t she just leave?” Private Violence shatters the brutality of this logic. Through the eyes of two survivors – Deanna Walters, a mother who seeks justice for the crimes committed against her at the hands of her estranged husband, and Kit Gruelle, an advocate who seeks justice for all women – we bear witness to the complicated and complex realities of partner violence.

There have been many documentaries on this topic...none can touch the power, sensitivity, and explanatory skill of this one. — Vulture






Cynthia Hill crafts documentaries that take a complex approach to critical contemporary issues, creating story driven and visually rich films. Private Violence is Hill's fourth feature documentary and her producer/director credits include Tobacco Money Feeds My Family, The Guestworker, February One, and current PBS television series A Chef's Life (Peabody Winner).