“Harrowing and heart-rending and maddening and confounding... ”
— Robert Lloyd LA Times on The Greatest Silence
An unprecedented look inside the New York District Attorney's unit dedicated to the prosecution of rape and sexual assault.
Sex Crimes Unit is an unprecedented look inside the New York District Attorney's unit dedicated to the prosecution of rape and sexual assault. The film examines the history of injustice toward rape survivors; trails the unit through its investigations; tracks the case of a prostitute who dared cry rape; and follows one survivor’s 16-year journey to justice.
LISA F. JACKSON has been making documentary films for over 30 years, work that has brought her awards that include two Emmy awards and a Sundance Jury Prize. Sex Crimes Unit, her most recent film, is an unprecedented verite portrait of prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as they work to bring justice to victims of sexual violence. Jackson shot her last documentary in the war zones of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo exposes the horrifying fate of women and girls in an intractable war. It won a Special Jury Prize for Documentaries at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, earned 2 Emmy nominations and was broadcast on HBO.
She produced and directed Meeting with a Killer: One Family’s Journey (2001 Emmy Award nominee) for Court TV; Life Afterlife, a 90-minute Special for HBO; The Secret Life of Barbie (1999 Emmy Award winner) for ABC News; Addicted and Why Am I Gay? for HBO’s America Undercover series; No Money, Mo’ Problems and Smart Sex for the MTV series “True Life”; The Other Epidemic for ABC News; Firefighters for The Learning Channel; A Passion to Play for ABC Sports; Anatomy of a Baseball Trade for HBO Sports; five episodes in the Hallmark Channel’s acclaimed Adoption series, including stories shot in Siberia and Guatemala; two seasons of Psychic Detectives for Court TV and national PSA’s for the US Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime. For the last three years Jackson has been shooting Tres Mujeres (“Three Women”), a documentary about a group of displaced women living in the slums of Bogotá, Colombia. It is currently in post-production.
Jackson studied filmmaking at MIT with Richard Leacock and has directed and/or edited dozens of films for PBS including: Voices and Visions: Emily Dickinson, Jackson Pollock: Portrait, Through Madness (1993 NYC Emmy winner), The Creative Spirit, Storytellers, The Van Cliburn Piano Competition; Bill Moyers' Journal, the prize-winning series The Mind, and segments for Sesame Street and Live from Lincoln Center.
Tom Shales of the Washington Post has praised her documentaries as “superb” and “outstanding,” John O’Connor commented in the New York Times that “producer/director Lisa F. Jackson is remarkably adept in getting her subjects to speak frankly and thoughtfully,” and the Christian Science Monitor noted that she takes on difficult subjects “with intelligence and courage.”
Jackson’s other awards include an Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Special (’99); a New York City Emmy (’93); three CINE Golden Eagles; Best Documentary Awards from the Rome Independent Film Festival and International Black DocuFest; Audience Choice Awards from the London HRWFF, One World Slovakia, Vancouver, Breckenridge and Cinequest film festivals; a Gracie Award from AWRT; four Houston International Film Festival Gold Awards; a Silver Chris Award from the Columbus International Film Festival; a Planned Parenthood “Maggie” Award for Outstanding Documentary; two Gold Clarion Awards from Women in Communications; the 2009 iWitness Award from Jewish World Watch and a Movies That Matter Award from Amnesty International. She has screened her work and lectured at the Columbia University School of Journalism, Brandeis, Purdue, NYU, Yale, Notre Dame and Harvard University and was a visiting professor of documentary film at the School for Visual Arts in Manhattan.