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Documentary Screening: Cyntoia’s Story

January 18, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Antioch Documentary Screening

Please join the Contra Costa Human Trafficking Coalition, in collaboration with Councilmember Monica Wilson, for a documentary screening of “Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story”. This documentary highlights the story of a survivor of human trafficking and the challenges she is facing within our legal system as a result of actions she took while being exploited as a 16-year-old. #FreeCyntoiaBrown recently gained national attention as her 2004 story resurfaced on social media in the fall of 2017, bringing her over a decade old story into the national spotlight.

A short discussion will follow the film on key takeaways and action items you can do to end human trafficking in our communities.

Short Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lFhEjfXYEI

Documentary Description:
In 2004, Cyntoia Brown was arrested for murder. There was no question that a 43-year-old man is dead and that she killed him. What mystified filmmaker Daniel Birman was just how common violence among youth is, and just how rarely we stop to question our assumptions about it. He wondered in this case what led a girl — who grew up in a reasonable home environment — to this tragic end?
Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story explores Cyntoia’s history and her future. Without attempting to excuse her crime as youthful indiscretion nor to vilify her as an example of a generation gone off the rails, Birman simply follows Cyntoia through six years of her life after the crime, and searches for answers to persistent questions.
The camera first glimpses Cyntoia the week of her arrest at age 16 and follows her for nearly six years. Along the way, nationally renowned juvenile forensic psychiatrist, Dr. William Bernet from Vanderbilt University, assesses her situation. We meet Ellenette Brown, Cyntoia’s adoptive mother who talks about the young girl’s early years. Georgina Mitchell, Cyntoia’s biological mother, meets her for the first time since she gave her up for adoption 14 years earlier. When we meet Cyntoia’s maternal grandmother, Joan Warren, some patterns begin to come into sharp focus.

Cyntoia wrestles with her fate. She is stunningly articulate and spends the time to put the pieces of this puzzle together with us. Cyntoia’s pre-prison lifestyle was nearly indistinguishable from her mother’s at the same age. History — seemingly predestined by biology and circumstance — repeats itself through each generation in this family.

Cyntoia is tried as an adult, and the cameras are there when she is convicted and sentenced to life at the Tennessee Prison for Women. After the verdict, Cyntoia calls her mom to tell her the news.
In the end, we catch up with Cyntoia as she is adjusting to prison, and struggling with her identity and hope for her future.

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January 18, 2018
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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Antioch Police Department
300 L Street
Antioch, CA 94509 United States
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