A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a special screening of Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story with filmmaker Daniel Birman in attendance and engaging in a Q&A session. The documentary is about Cyntoia Brown, a 16 year old young adolescent who shot and killed a 43 year old white man who had picked her up to have sex with. Cyntoia was tried as an adult and has been serving a life in prison sentence.
The documentary looks into Cyntoia’s upbringing and into her family’s past where one can see the cycle of violence moving from Cyntoia’s grandmother to her mother and now unto her. Daniel Birman is with Cyntoia for 6 years and chronicles every step as viewers get to learn more about this bright 16 year old girl.
I highly encourage people to see this powerful documentary. For those of us who work with youth especially those of us who have clients in the juvenile justice system, this is a very troubling documentary. This documentary to me demonstrates the importance of a juvenile justice reform. At the Q & A, Daniel Birman talked about how a racist juvenile system with have in tact. And what happens when people have money and can pay big bucks for an attorney. I talked to him after the Q&A and I asked him if the psych. evaluation was ever presented by Cyntoia’s attorney and he stated that they didn’t. I was very troubled to hear that Cyntoia’s attorney would not have used the psych. evaluation given everything that Cyntoia has been through. I was happy to hear that Cyntoia is appealing the decision stating that her attorney didn’t fully represented her and is thinking of including the psych. evaluation in her appeal. I will be getting in touch with Cyntoia soon and hope in future blogs I can share some updates on her.
Here is a link where you can check what channel and what time will the documentary will be shown tonight in your area.
Here are some of the clips of today’s documentary. For those who are able to see it, let me know your thoughts on the film. This is the type of film where I would love to engage in a great discussion.