Private Violence
U.S. Documentary


2013, 81 minutes, color, U.S.A.

The most common question asked of domestic violence victims is, “Why didn’t you leave?” Private Violence introduces us to two women whose stories illustrate the complexities and problems inherent in that question and encourages us to reevaluate the discourse about domestic violence.

Kit Gruelle, a domestic violence survivor, has been an advocate for battered women for more than 25 years. We are privy to her educational sessions with police, consultations with experts in the medical and legal fields, and—most critically—her work with individuals, in particular Deanna. A young mother, Deanna miraculously survived kidnapping and brutal beatings by her ex-husband. When Deanna’s case goes to federal court, the stakes are raised as she and Kit battle to reunite her with her daughter, keep her abuser behind bars, and help her regain her dignity.

Shot with skill and immediacy, Private Violence is rooted in the extraordinary courage of Kit and Deanna, who shed light on the cycles of abuse and the shortcomings of law enforcement and the justice system. In the process, they represent hope, empowerment, and the possibility of change.

Director: Cynthia Hill

Cinematographer: Rex Miller

Editor: Tom Vickers

Composer: Chuck Johnson

Special Advisor: Kit Gruelle

Associate Producers: Malinda Maynor Lowery, Un Kyong Ho, Jennifer Cromling

Executive Producers: Cindy Waitt, Gloria Steinem, Regina K. Scully, Julie Benello, Wendy Ettinger, Judith Helfand

About the Director

Private Violence is Cynthia Hill's fourth feature documentary. Her work, ranging from depicting tobacco farming to Latino migrant laborers and southern foodways, challenges dominant narratives. Hill allows unexpected stories to unfold and lays bare the assumptions behind the systems that drive people’s everyday lives. Her producer/director credits include Tobacco Money Feeds My Family, The Guestworker, February One, and A Chef’s Life. Hill is cofounder of the Southern Documentary Fund, established to support place-based storytelling.


1/19/2014 11:30 am
Prospector Square Theatre, Park City
1/21/2014 3:00 pm
Yarrow Hotel Theatre, Park City
1/22/2014 6:00 pm
Broadway Centre Cinema 6, SLC
1/23/2014 9:00 pm
Temple Theatre, Park City
1/24/2014 12:00 pm
Sundance Resort Screening Room, Sundance Resort
1/25/2014 10:00 am
Holiday Village Cinema 4, Park City