Film Image
Inside Women Inside
Producer: Third World Newsreel
21 minutes

Inside Women Inside

This film exposes the daily humiliation regularly faced by women in U.S. prisons using firsthand accounts of inmates at the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women and the Correctional Institute for Women at Riker's Island, New York.

How does a woman cope with such common occurences as illness, pregnancy and family conflicts when she is sent away to prison? At the North Carolina Correctional Center for Womena and the Correctional Institute for Women at Rikers Island, a number of women answer these questions quite candidly.

Provocative interviews with these women reveal the anger and frustrations of daily life behid bars. We hear testimonies from women who have suffered from unnecessary miscarriages and improper medical care. We catch glimpses of inhumane conditions ranging from feudal wages and overcrowded cell block to lack of nutritional meals in the cafeteria.

INSIDE WOMEN INSIDE follows women demanding better meals and realistic job training: institutionalized injustices against them are clarified disrupting our conventional view of women behind bars. In spite of the realities of their oppression, their optimism and strength is insurmountable.
Thanks to the generous contributions of The Women’s Film Preservation Fund of New York Women in Film & Television, INSIDE WOMEN INSIDE has been preserved.

"Technique for us is secondary. The people themselves have a rich life experience, a knowledge of history and their culture and community organization. And these people are far more qualified to make films than people who have learned their skills in a school." -Christine Choy
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"Most Americans probably have some inkling as to the conditions that exist in the prisons of the United States. Most are probably wrong, as this compelling documentary points out. INSIDE WOMEN INSIDE exposes the daily humiliation faced by women in U.S. prisons using the very personal accounts of the inmates themselves. It's a film that's so well put together that it's depressing to be moved by such a sad subject." - Brian Whitener, All Movie Guide
To Love, Honor and Obey (Christine Choy & Marlene Dann) and Inside Women Inside (Christine Choy & Cynthia Maurizio) give voice and body to the systemic injustices that to this day affect women across all ethnic and economic circumstances. Taken together, the films demonstrate the absolute necessity of exploring not only the trauma and lasting effects of abuse, but the conditions that allow for such a thing to persist at all. - Brittany Stigler, ScreenSlate Blog
"Incendiary newsreel... INSIDE WOMEN INSIDE offers a rare look at the degradation faced by women incarcerated in a criminal justice system that disregards their basic humanity, from inedible food to neglected medical needs." - Nellie Killian, Tell Me: Women Filmmaker, Women's Stories
"Through her subjects’ candid testimony in INSIDE WOMEN INSIDE, Choy reveals the awful conditions under which women are incarcerated at Rikers Island prison in New York City, and a correctional facility in North Carolina. One African-American prisoner says that her unpaid prison work as a seamstress is slavery; another speaks of lifting 70-pound boxes as a regular part of her duties, and all the women complain of the lack of privacy and hygiene. What is especially apparent in Choy’s work is that the point-of-view of the filmmaker in relation to her subjects is neither judgmental nor neutral." - Maria Garcia, Film Journal International
• Pacific Film Archives
• Tell Me: Women Filmmakers, Women's Stories, Metrograph, 2018

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TWN acknowledges that in New York we are on the unceded territory of the Lenni Lenape, Canarsie, Shinecock, and Munsee peoples and challenges the harm that continues to be inflicted upon Indigenous and People of Color communities here and abroad, which is why we all need to be part of the struggle for rights, equality and justice.

TWN is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Color Congress, MOSAIC, New York Community Trust, Peace Development Fund, Ford Foundation, Golden Globe Foundation, Kolibri Foundation and individual donors.