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Small Justice

     There are dreadful things going on behind the closed doors of American family courts, according to local filmmaker, Garland Waller, in her engrossing and deeply disturbing documentary, Small Justice. Waller paints a horrific picture of injustice prevailing: in 70% of custody cases in the USA in which a husband is accused of sexually abusing his children, he's the one who ends up with them in his care. A typical scenario: a battered, estranged, sleep-deprived wife who, understandably seems in disarray and shock, begs a judge to take children away from her husband who has been sexually molesting them. The husband, a practiced, psychopathic liar, appears smooth in court and denies any wrongdoing. The judge, put off by the wife and impressed that the husband has come to speak up for the kids, gives them over to dad. As for her charges of sexual abuse: that's proof that mom has lost her bearings and can't raise her kids. Moving from the abstract to real stories, filmmaker Waller follows three courageous moms as they battle through courts to get back their children. This is an important movie: Congress should take a look at it!

(October, 2001)

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