Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BELLY OF THE BEAST Documentary Out Oct. 16

Watch a new trailer here!

BELLY OF THE BEAST Documentary Out Oct. 16


When an unlikely duo discovers a pattern of illegal sterilizations in women's prisons, they wage a near impossible battle against the Department of Corrections. Filmed over seven years with extraordinary access and intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated people, the documentary feature BELLY OF THE BEAST exposes modern-day eugenics and reproductive injustice in California prisons.


Directed by Emmy and Peabody award-winning filmmaker Erika Cohn (The Judge and In Football We Trust), BELLY OF THE BEAST will have its theatrical release starting Friday, October 16, 2020 at theaters across the U.S. including Los Angeles (Laemmle Theaters), San Francisco (The Roxie and Smith Rafael Film Center), New York, and more.

The film's trailer, released today, features the original song 'See What You've Done' written and performed by Mary J. Blige, the nine-time Grammy winner and two-time Oscar nominated singer-songwriter.

The news of the film's release, trailer, and awards submissions was first reported this morning by Variety's new film awards editor Clayton Davis.

The film had its world premiere as the Opening Night Film at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in June. This fall, it will screen at the Mill Valley Film Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area, Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival in Washington, DC, and Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. It will have its national television debut on the award-winning PBS television series INDEPENDENT LENS on Monday, November 23.

The pastoral farmlands surrounding the Central California Women's Facility, the world's largest women's prison, help conceal the reproductive and human rights violations transpiring inside its walls. A courageous woman who was involuntarily sterilized at the facility, teams up with a radical lawyer to stop these violations. They spearhead investigations that uncover a series of statewide crimes, primarily targeting women of color, from inadequate access to healthcare to sexual assault to illegal sterilization. Together, with a team of tenacious heroines, both in and out of prison, they take to the courtroom to fight for reparations. But no one believes them.

As additional damning evidence is uncovered by the Center for Investigative Reporting, a media frenzy and series of hearings provide hope for some semblance of justice. Yet, doctors and prison officials contend that the procedures were in each person's best interest and of an overall social benefit. Invoking the weight of the historic stain and legacy of eugenics, BELLY OF THE BEAST presents a decade long, infuriating contemporary legal drama.

BELLY OF THE BEAST is directed and produced by Erika Cohn, produced by Angela Tucker, Christen Marquez, Nicole Docta, executive produced by Geralyn Dreyfous, Blye Faust, Mark Lipson, Patty Quillin, Doree Friedman, Diane Philips, Lois Vossen, and Sally Jo Fifer, and music supervised by Tracy McKnight.

Cohn is a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning director/producer who Variety recognized as one of 2017's top documentary filmmakers to watch and was featured in DOC NYC's 2019 "40 Under 40." Her award-winning films have debuted at top international film festivals including Toronto International Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival.

Watch the trailer here:



Related Stories View More TV Stories
Everything You Need to Know About the WICKED Movie Photo
It's a guide to the Wicked movie. The hit Broadway musical Wicked is officially coming to the big screen! BroadwayWorld collected all the information we could about the upcoming film - including who's starring, what roles haven't yet been cast, and what will change from stage to screen.

Brendan Fraser, Michelle Yeoh, and More Take Home AARP Movies For Grownups Awards Photo
AARP The Magazine has unveiled the winners of the 21st annual Movies for Grownups Awards, featuring honorees from Abbott Elementary, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, The Whale, and more, as Top Gun: Maverick was awarded Best Picture/Best Movie for Grownups, the evening's top honor.

Photos: Lucien Laviscount Attends The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Diriyah Photo
This weekend sees the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship head to Diriyah for a double-header of races. To kick off the weekend, thousands of fans watched on as 22 of the fastest, lightest, most powerful and efficient electric race cars in the world - the GEN3 - went head to head. Emily in Paris Netflix star Lucien Laviscount attended the first race on Friday to watch the world-class drivers and revolutionary race cars compete at speeds of up to 200mph.

Netflix Renews SOMEBODY FEED PHIL For Season Seven Photo
Netflix has announced the renewal of Somebody Feed Phil, from Emmy, James Beard Award, and Critics Choice Award-winner Phil Rosenthal. The series, which premiered its sixth season in October 2022, will once again follow Phil on his culinary adventures as he takes in the local cuisine and cultures of cities around the world.


From This Author - Sarah Jae Leiber


Lin-Manuel Miranda To Return For HIS DARK MATERIALS Season 3 On HBOLin-Manuel Miranda To Return For HIS DARK MATERIALS Season 3 On HBO
October 6, 2022

HBO has confirmed that award-winning composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda will return for the third season of the fantasy drama.

Development Halts On Disney+ BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Prequel SeriesDevelopment Halts On Disney+ BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Prequel Series
February 10, 2022

A planned Beauty and the Beast musical prequel series will not move forward at Disney+.

Tony & Grammy Winner Michael Cerveris' Loose Cattle to Stream Live Performance TonightTony & Grammy Winner Michael Cerveris' Loose Cattle to Stream Live Performance Tonight
January 5, 2022

Loose Cattle, fronted by two-time Tony Award & Grammy winner Michael Cerveris and Kimberly Kaye, will stream a performance live from New Orleans tonight!

Bertie Carvel Joins THE CROWN Season Five As Tony BlairBertie Carvel Joins THE CROWN Season Five As Tony Blair
October 28, 2021

The acclaimed Netflix series, 'The Crown' has added Tony Award-winning actor Bertie Carvel to its cast in the role of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

REVIEW ROUNDUP: What Do Critics Think of EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE?REVIEW ROUNDUP: What Do Critics Think of EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE?
September 17, 2021

Inspired by true events, Everybody's Talking About Jamie follows Jamie New (Harwood), a teenager from Sheffield, who dreams of life on stage.