Suzanne Cohen Filmmaker and Educator

Beautiful Sentence

DFG article about shooting a documentary in a prison

Spectra Speaks review

London Feminist Film Festival review in Finnish magazine

‘Beautiful Sentence’ screening at the House of Commons

‘Beautiful Sentence’ is a documentary about inspirational poet Leah Thorn and her work with female prisoners. Excerpts from the film will be screened at two separate events at the House of Commons aimed at decision makers, focusing on prison reform and rehabilitation in June and July 2011.

I filmed Leah’s workshops and one to one sessions with prisoners inside HMP Bronzefield, Middlesex (UK) during her two years as writer in residence. The film depicts powerful interactions with the women as they strive to find a voice through creative writing.

http://vimeo.com/suzanne/beautifulsentence

Shooting a documentary inside a prison

It took over four months to secure the access. This involved writing proposals outlining my intentions, meetings with managers and security checks. I was making the film for my MA at Royal Holloway University, which allowed me to present the project as having educational aims. In the end the prison agreed on the basis that I would run free animation workshops for the women.