Press Reviews / Audience Reactions
From the viewers of the
Picture This... Film Festival
"...it gets you going around the issues..."
"...did what a documentary film should do - tell a story about a slice of life..."
"...traces the history/trajectory of this tragedy..."
"...good job of sketching Eunice's background - her family, the emotions..."
"...great drawn out final conclusion..."
"...demonstrates the powerlessness of the marginalized in dealing with the judicial system..."
"no wonder so many disabled people are in jail...!"
"...was instantly pulled in by this woman's story...her mom worked so hard to free her daughter..."
"...such an interesting story, it's not just about disability, it's about poverty, education, the unity of family..."
"...inspiring to see a woman strong and holding her head up with dignity...kept me intrigued and interested..."
"...sequence of events and background contextual information is well laid out..."
"...use of spokespeople from varying perspectives works well to keep audience connected and interested..."
"...approach is very creative and effectively portrays the many contradictions and misperceptions in this case..."
"...commentary about Eunice's vulnerability, judgments made in the media and her mom's lifelong efforts to avoid labeling Eunice are very compelling..."
"...this is a winner...!"
"...powerful doc about a miscarriage of justice..."
"...peels back the layers regarding justice for the poor and the disabled..."
From the televison and DVD viewers
Dear Slawomir, I am the Librarian ... I recently obtained a copy of your film "Borderline: The people vs. Eunice Baker," and also took it home and watched it. I want to congratulate you on making an extremely powerful and haunting film with many important messages about such issues as the criminal justice system, family strength, & mental retardation, and even about more tangential issues such as obesity. It was obviously quite a labor of persistence for you to stick with this story and family over many years, not knowing what direction their lives were going to take. I found myself thinking a lot about the film over the next couple of days, wondering how the family members are doing, and especially impressed by their supportiveness of one another during extremely trying times which might have torn other families apart. There was the possibility for redemption at the end of the film, for sure, if the key players had not been too damaged over the years to reclaim their lives.
thanks again for making such a potent documentary. I hope that it will be seen by a great many people.
This episode just aired on our local PBS station. I was truly moved by this. I have a nephew that is mentally retarded and a niece that is 'borderline' retarded. I also have a three year old granddaughter. So, needless to say, I saw this from all view points. There is something that really disturbs me about the whole thing...Why were the parents of the little three year old blameless? As parents, it was their responsibility to provide adequate care for their child, anythingless was negligence. Surely, they knew that Eunice had a diminished mental awareness and therefore should be held accountable as well. I feel the parents were more at fault than Eunice was. But, my opinion and the law aren't always the same. It was a very well told story and photographed well. I believe it deserves to be shown at a more viewable time. I think it came on at 4:00A.M. this morning, (I only seen it because I don't sleep much since my son was killed in Iraq). The general public needs to know about things like this. It's something most of us have never given any thought to and unless you're in a situation such as this, we wouldn't think about it. Thank you for telling this story and for doing it with dignity.
Your excellent doc Borderline was aired on Maryland Public Television an hour ago. It was extremely moving. I'm interested in Rachel's interests towards college and law school. It would appear that some civil penalties would be due the family for enduring the flawed verdict. They certainly live in squalor, and if Rachel is as bright as she is motivated, she'll need financial help towards her scholastic goals. I'm a former pediatrician and now pediatric subspecialist, and am angry at how this tradgedy was perpetrated on Eunice. Though it aired on PBS, you should find interest in others with a wider spectrum of viewers as well. I'd even think HBO.
Dear Mr. Grunberg,
I just wanted to send an email to convey my appreciation for the subject you present in your film "Borderline". I've just finished watching it on Link TV and was a blubbering fool throughout much of it. I am still shaken up and tearful as I write this.
I am the mother of an eighteen year old son who also has mental retardation and has had a few behavioral issues that especially frighten me as turns into an adult. I can put myself in the place of Eunice's mother easily and it terrifies me to think about my son being incarcerated for even a night. I cannot begin to imagine five years. It physically hurts me to think about it. Thank you so much for bringing this subject to film and to the public.
Human Rights Film Festival, Cracow, Poland 2006
PANORAMA FILMÓW O PRAWACH CZLOWIEKA
Borderline | Borderline – People vs. Eunice Baker
rez. Slawomir Grunberg, USA 2004, 80’
Award for the Best Documentary on a Theme on Disability – International Picture This... International Film Festival 2006, Calgary/Kanada
Slawomir Grunberg pozostaje bacznym obserwatorem amerykanskiego zycia spolecznego, zwlaszcza w obszarach zwiazanych z respektowaniem praw jednostki. Film ten wpisuje sie w tradycje dokumentów obnazajacych slabosci procesu karnego w USA. Kobieta na granicy uposledzenia umyslowego pada ofiara ignorancji wymiaru sprawiedliwosci i skazana zostaje na dlugoletnie wiezienie za zabicie dziecka, którego byla opiekunka.