Los Angeles, CA, April 7 – “Being Michelle” is a powerful and emotional documentary film that follows the life of a Deaf woman with autism who has survived numerous instances of abuse and injustice at the hands of the U.S. incarceration system. The film had its world premiere at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival this week, and will soon screen at the Florida Film Festival as well. At its core, “Being Michelle” is a story about hope and resilience in the face of adversity due to one’s family upbringings, circumstances, and the ableist injustices of the U.S. incarceration system. No matter what you are going through, you are not alone, and this documentary is a reminder of that through the story of Michelle’s journey as she continues to be that ray of sunshine for others despite what she has gone through. Her story matters and is an example for others to be able to learn and take up space.
Throughout the film, audiences learn that Michelle experienced an abusive family dynamic growing up; a pattern and experience that unfortunately followed her into the incarceration system, where police officers were quick to condemn her due to a lack of understanding of her disabilities, and without really trying to understand her or why she was acting or behaving a certain way. The documentary really brings to light how society is quick to judge and make assumptions about someone without getting to know them, as in the case of Michelle, who was misunderstood and could not articulate what she wanted to say and express her emotions due to a lack of means to communication between the Hearing officers and prison employees and herself as a Deaf woman. [continue reading…]