What I Want My Words to Do to You

Complete Title: What I Want My Words to Do to You: Voices From Inside a Women’s Maximum Security Prison
Directors: Madeline Gavin, Judith Katz and Gary Sunshine

In this quietly gripping documentary, playwright and women’s activist Eve Ensler conducts a writing workshop at New York’s Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women in order to help inmates come to terms with their lives, their futures and heal. Ensler’s project ended with a performance for charity, enlisting the help of a few talented actresses to read the monologues, letters and essays that evolved from the series of exercises Ensler assigned the workshop’s participants. An important and honest film—the women manage to sadden, anger, inspire and touch us with their ideas and writings and the film succeeds on several levels. Obviously it’s an important piece from a sociological or communications perspective and an even more valuable work for women’s studies departments but more than that it proves once again the power of language, of words to heal, of writing as therapy for without knowledge we would never get to hear their stories and the words of the film's participants will indeed affect those who take the time to listen.