First Fall 2022 Doc Night Screening – Belly Of The Beast

Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival Blog

First Fall 2022 Doc Night Screening – Belly Of The Beast

SDFF, Trim Tab Media and Rialto Cinemas® Fall Doc Night film series starts Sept. 12 with a screening of Belly Of The Beast (2020), followed by a discussion of the filmmaking process by director Erika Cohn. Doc Night is a monthly screening series featuring award-winning documentaries on diverse topics from the environment to social justice to art and music. All screenings and filmmaker discussions will be available in person and online. Afterwards, in-person attendees will gather at Fern Bar with the local filmmaking community for drinks, discussion and networking.

Filmed over seven years with extraordinary access and intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated people, Belly of the Beast  (Erika Cohn, 2020) exposes modern day eugenics and reproductive injustice in California prisons.


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.


The Doc Night screening of Belly Of The Beast and a post-screening discussion director Erika Cohn will take place at Rialto Cinemas® on September 12 at 7 p.m., followed by casual drinks and snacks at Fern Bar.

Doc Night is a co-presentation of Trim Tab, Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, and Rialto Cinemas®. Doc Night’s Fall/Winter season will continue with Kids On Tech on Oct. 10, Not Without Us on Nov. 14, and Dear Santa on Dec. 12.


Kids On Tech

Parents and teachers around the world struggle with their kids’ dependence on devices today. #KidsOnTech looks at the impact on children’s developing bodies and brains, and asks: “How might we better prepare our kids for this digital world?

with director Paul Zehr & editor Eric Ivey

Not Without Us

An all too timely document of the grassroots struggle for significant climate action. In the months leading up to COP21 in Paris, Not Without Us chronicles the work and voices of activists from around the world as they make their voices heard.

with Kontent Films director Mark Decena

Dear Santa

Each year, hundreds of thousands of letters to Santa arrive at post offices around the country. Through Operation Santa, the United States Postal Service enables the public to safely adopt these letters and make children’s dreams come true.

with director Dana Nachman and cinematographer Mike Abela

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