Films with a domestic violence theme
The films listed below contain domestic violence as the main theme, or as an aspect of the storyline. Women's Aid does not necessarily endorse these films.
Title: Provoked: A True Story
Director: Jag Mundhra
Country: India, 2007
Plot: Provoked is the true story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, a Punjabi woman who sets fire to her husband after experiencing 10 years of domestic violence. She is sentenced to life imprisonment but is bought to justice through the campaigning of the Southall Black Sisters.
Title: North Country
Director: Niki Caro
Country: USA, 2005
Plot: A semi-fictionalised account of a group of female miner workers that win a land mark sexual harrassment case.
Title: Te doy mis ojos (English translation“Take my eyes”)
Director: Icíar Bollaín
Country: Spain, 2003
Plot: One winter night, Pilar runs away from home. With her, she takes only a few belongings and her son, Juan. Antonio soon sets out to look for her. He says Pilar is his sunshine, and what's more, "She gave him her eyes"...
Title: Domestic Violence 2
Director: Frederick Wiseman
Country: USA, 2002
Plot: This second film by the same director turns it attention to the judicial system and the inadequacies of legislation.
Title: Domestic Violence
Director: Frederick Wiseman
Country: USA, 2001
Plot: A documentary film focusing on the work and inmates of The Spring, a shelter in Tampa, Florida.
Title: The Promise
Director: Bethany Rooney
Country: USA, 1999
Plot: Based on a true story. A woman seeks justice after discovering that her sister was murdered by her abusive husband.
Title: Nil by Mouth
Director: Gary Oldman
Country: UK, 1997
Plot: Set in a working class London district, this film looks at the life of Raymond, who is a rough and violent person that leads to problems in the life of his family.
Title: Sleeping with the Devil
Director: William A. Graham
Plot: After a wealthy man helps out a poor woman, the couple eventually get married. But when the woman attempts to leave the marriage, her husband tries to murder her. This is a true story based on a book of the same title.
Title: Dead By Sunset
Director: Karen Arthur
Country: USA, 1995
Plot: Brad is a charming, yet manipulative husband and father who hates women. As his marriage evaporates and divorce proceedings begin, he realises there is only one way to get full custody of his sons' - killing his wife.
Title: Dangerous Intentions
Director: Michael Toshiyuki Uno
Country: USA, 1995
Plot: A woman tries to escape her abusive husband by staying at a shelter with her daughter.
Title: Once were Warriors
Director: Lee Tamahori
Country: NZ, 1994
Plot: Set in Aukland New Zealand this film follows the lives of the Heke family. Jake Heke is a violent man who beats his wife frequently when drunk. The movie follows a period of several weeks in the family's life showing Jake's frequent outburst of violence and the effect that this has on his family.
Title: What's Love Got to do With It?
Director: Brian Gibson
Country: USA, 1993
Plot: Chronicles the career of Tina Turner from the time she met musician-songwriter Ike Turner until the launch of her solo career in the early 1980's. Anna Mae, determined not leave as her mother did when she was a child, endures the violence of her frustrated and unstable husband.
Title: Defending Our Lives
Director: Margaret Lazarus, Renner Wunderlich
Country: USA, 1993.
Plot: Academy-award winning documentary about women incarcerated for killing their batterers.
Title: When No One Would Listen
Director: Armand Mastroianni
Country: USA, 1992
Plot: A battered wife and mother attempts to escape from her irrational and violent husband, whose homicidal rage intensifies and culminates in holding her hostage.
Title: Sleeping with the Enemy
Director: Joseph Rubin
Country: USA, 1991
Plot: Laura and Martin have been married for four years. Martin is an abusive and brutally obsessed husband. Laura is living her life in constant fear and waits for a chance to escape. She finally stages her own death, and flees to a new town and new identity. But when Martin finds out that his wife is not dead he will stop at nothing to find and kill her.
Title: Shattered Dreams
Director: Robert Iscove
Country: USA 1990
Plot: The true story of Charlotte Fedders, the abused wife of a prominent Washington official. The film documents her quest to break the vicious cycle of domestic violence.
Title: A Cry for Help
Director: Robert Markowitz
Plot: This is the story of the landmark case that led to the adoption of domestic violence legislation and reforms in police responses to domestic violence calls.
Title: The Colour Purple
Director: Stephen Spielberg
Country: USA, 1985
Description: This film follows the life of Celie, a young black girl growing up in the early 1900s. The first time we see Celie, she is 14 - and pregnant - by her father. We stay with her for the next 30 years of her tough life...
Title: The Burning Ben
Director: Robert Greenwald
Country: USA, 1984
Plot: Abused battered wife has had enough of husband beating up on her. Everywhere she turns for help, there's not much anyone will do. After he rapes one night, she sets the bed on fire with him in it while asleep
Title: Independence Day
Director: Robert Mandel
Country: USA, 1983
Plot: A young woman dreams of escaping her small town and her abusive husband.