I’ve been thinking about the educational value of this film from the very beginning of the project — the film was conceived, shot and put together with educational audiences very much in mind.
“Power and Control” has two main strands: the first, the story of a family and the second an account of how domestic violence policy has evolved over the past 30 years. The personal narrative follows Kim Mosher and her three daughters in Duluth, MN as they struggle to find a new life away from Josh, Kim’s abusive husband. Our second strand introduces the visionary activists who pushed for a revolution in domestic violence policy in the early 1980s (also beginning in Duluth) and traces the development of the “Duluth Model” in the subsequent years. We take a particularly close look at DV in law enforcement and health care.
This site also offers more than 40 video interview excerpts, almost all with people who also appear in the film. The interviews and other resources on the site offer a focal point for teaching, discussion, assignment and further research.
My process in making a film seems to start with an interest in an issue, preferably a complex and controversial one. Domestic violence is a fundamental social ill, something that strongly affects family life and how children grow up, and it seemed to me that an updated, comprehensive film was really needed. Public awareness had reached a point where people don’t need to be convinced that domestic violence is bad and pervasive, and I sensed that it was time to make a film that would be more objective than previous advocacy films. Unlike earlier documentaries, “Power and Control” includes interviews with batterers, and it also includes interviews with academics and others who are critical of the mainstream viewpoint of the advocacy community.
I was amazed by many of the people I met during production, and I hope you’re amazed too. Kim and her three daughters made the film possible. Kim is a courageous, smart, talented woman. She’s bound to prevail. Ellen Pence and Michael Paymar, co-founders of the Duluth program and co-creators of the Power and Control wheel, are the kind of heroes that make me want to make films. It’s an honor to have made the film at around the same time that their work is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
The movie runs about 64 minutes. Our educational edition runs 50 minutes, and has been trimmed of a few moments of profanity and sexual content that might be inappropriate for middle school classes. I encourage you to use the whole film, and if necessary for class time considerations, show the first 30 minutes one day, the rest the next. The break point comee right in the middle of Kim’s journey, so it’s a logical stopping point.
Please feel free to contact me for any help with teaching with the film. Thanks for your support and interest.