DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 2 takes place in the arraignment, misdemeanor, and injunction courts in Hillsborough County, Tampa, Florida. The courts deal with issues such as bail bonds, release pending trial, the specific context of injunctions regulating time and place of parental visits, restraining orders, contact with children, support payments, and the court's decision about fault and punishment. The judges and lawyers ask questions which elicit the stories of couples' relationships and the specific form of violence between them.
In DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 2 one judge can be heard audibly exhaling in frustration, more than once cradling her head in her hands. It’s not surprising when you consider some of the cases she’s faced with; in one instance, involving a man who not only assaulted his ex-wife but punched the woman who’d come to help pick up her stuff in the face, the judge resolves the case by issuing an order forbidding the couple to have any contact with each other. That’ll be tough, the man says, ‘because we’re seeing each other.’ One woman says that in her first two years of marriage, she’s left her husband 15 times, meaning she’s gone back 14.
–Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Amazingly, these films take in an entire system the couples, the shelter, the law, its enforcement without losing sight of the people.
At the heart of [DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 2] is the question of how two people get to that point of standing before an exasperated judge who decides to break them up. Sometimes it’s against the couple’s wishes and usually it’s for the sake of the children. But the courtrooms are packed houses of these destructively wayward misalliances taken to their legal limit.
–Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 2 takes place in a series of Tampa courtrooms, where judges try to devise instant and, they hope, permanent solutions to problems that have often been generations in the making.
–David Edelstein, The New York Times
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 2 focuses mainly on the legal side of the issue. The judges are forced to make life-changing decisions about relationships in a matter of minutes. It’s a relentless exploration of a problem that seems horrifically common.
–James Heflin, The Valley Advocate
Educationalincludes public performance rights
released 2002, 160 minutes
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