66th Cork International Film Festival

Belly of The Beast + Q&A

Expired May 21, 2021 6:00 PM
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When a courageous young woman and a radical lawyer discover a pattern of illegal sterilisations in California’s women’s prisons, they wage a near-impossible battle against the Department of Corrections. With a growing team of investigators inside prison working with colleagues on the outside, they uncover a series of statewide crimes - from inadequate health care to sexual assault to coercive sterilisations - primarily targeting women of colour. This shocking legal drama captured over 7-years features extraordinary access and intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated people, demanding attention to a shameful and ongoing legacy of eugenics and reproductive injustice in the United States.


"Belly of the Beast does not reach for happy endings and is most absorbing in its thesis, which makes the stakes of this battle against human rights violations loud and clear." New York Times


About the Director

Erika Cohn is a Peabody, Emmy and DGA Award-winning filmmaker who Variety recognised as one of 2017's top documentary filmmakers to watch and was featured in DOC NYC's 2019 "40 Under 40". Most recently, Erika completed The Judge, a Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated film about the first woman judge appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a courts, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS’ 2018 Independent Lens series. She co-directed/produced In Football We Trust, an Emmy award-winning feature documentary about young Pacific Islander men pursuing their dreams of playing professional football, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS’ 2016 Independent Lens series. 


Erika grew up attending the Sundance Film Festival as a native Utahn, where she first began her career. She studied at Chapman University (California) and Hebrew University (Jerusalem) and has degrees in Film Production, Middle East Studies, and Acting Performance. In 2013, Erika founded Idle Wild Films, Inc., which has released three feature documentaries and produced numerous branded content and commercial spots, including Gatorade's "Win from Within" series, for which she received a 2016 Webby award nomination. Belly of The Beast is her third feature-length documentary. Erika is represented by APA.



  • Year
    2020
  • Runtime
    82 minutes
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Erika Cohn
  • Producer
    Angela Tucker, Christen Marquez, Nicole Docta