Marginalized women are far too often not in control of their own story, but the strong, talented women in Nicole Boxer's new documentary How I Got Over have turned their lives into art. The intense, gripping movie focuses on how 15 formerly homeless women create a play for a performance at the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Boxer, who produced The Invisible War and the upcoming The Hunting Ground, produced and directed the film. She told Women and Hollywood:
The women of N Street Village are survivors of the 50-year "War on Poverty", and their traumatic tales can inform our humanity about what is so beautiful — but what is equally heartbreaking — about this particular American experience. I fell in love with the characters in my film because, as much as they resisted at first, they became incredible truth-tellers, master story-tellers, and the keepers of history. I learned so much about the city I had lived in for years, but clearly only on the periphery. These women knew the city, its politics, its real secrets — and lead us to a common humanity, a common shared community. They point out for us the cruelty of the system of incarceration that keeps many locked up and unable to heal from past trauma. We all share the desire for a better life for our families, even though we make mistakes.
How I Got Over will be available on VOD on March 6.
Danielle Henderson is a lapsed academic, heavy metal karaoke machine, and culture editor at Fusion. She enjoys thinking about how race, gender, and sexuality shape our cultural narratives, but not in a boring way.