​..a tough, compelling and important documentary.

News & Observer

An intimate and powerful exploration of domestic violence.

What Not Doc

There have been many documentaries on this topic...none can touch the power, sensitivity, and explanatory skill of this one.


This film is hard to watch -- but that's exactly why you need to.

"The Huffington Post"

PRIVATE VIOLENCE is a directive American trauma thinkpiece, insistent that its troubles can be confronted head-on.

Slant Magazine

The obstacles against effectively protecting battered women & prosecuting their abusers are vividly illustrated.


PRIVATE VIOLENCE illustrates not only how much domestic abuse slips through the legal and social cracks of society, but also how poorly we understand the victim's point of view.

The Daily Beast

PRIVATE VIOLENCE…shows with shocking clarity that the worst of such cases rarely involve just a single punch, and that the problem is far more entrenched than a trending-on-Twitter moment makes it seem.

NY Times

PRIVATE VIOLENCE makes painfully clear the emotional and legal hurdles battered women endure just to feel safe again in or outside the home. Brisk and disturbing, it should be an eye-opener to anyone whose understanding of domestic violence amounts to the ignorant suggestion, "Why didn't you leave?"

LA Times

Kit Gruelle

Awards and Festivals

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights    Dallas International Film Festival
Silver Heart Award
Sundance Film Festival
Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival
T/F Film Fest
DOXA Documentary Film Festival
New Orleans Film Festival
Heartland Film Festival
Bolderlife Film Festival

What critics are saying...

This potent documentary is a natural for public/educational tube slots, and should have an afterlife in classroom and organizational settings.

"PRVIATE VIOLENCE begins to shape powerful, new questions that hold the potential to change our society...
Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Hill's work lingers and probes with an urgent, comprehensive call to action. PRIVATE VIOLENCE is…insistent that its troubles can be confronted head-on.
Slant Magazine

It is a disturbing, emotional, painful, infuriating, and hard-to-watch film but it is an important one. Just by being truthful and honest with its subjects, Cynthia Hill's film feels like a call to action. Listen to it.
Film Threat