‘Sin by Silence’ screening and a Fringe premiere confront domestic violence

"Sin by Silence" will screen at Taller Puertorriqueño. Photo by Gabriela Sanchez.

Sin by Silence, a documentary film about women convicted of killing their abusive partners, will screen this Saturday, August 16, at Taller Puertorriqueño, a Puerto Rican and Latino community center dedicated to cultural preservation and education through art, literacy, music, performances, screenings, and more. The event is presented in advance of the Power Street Theatre Company’s Fringe Festival premiere of Morir Sonyando (Die Dreaming), a play on a similar theme.

Sin by Silence (45 minutes) will screen twice, at 1pm and again at 5pm. Power Street Theatre Company, a new Philadelphia-based group, will be there to talk about their upcoming production inspired by the story in the film.

Sin by Silence highlights the efforts of Brenda Clubine, imprisoned for 26 years in the California Institution for Women for killing her abusive husband in 1983. In 1989, while still incarcerated, she formed an advocacy group with other abused women, which they called Convicted Women Against Abuse. As a result of their efforts, in 1992 “Battered Woman Syndrome” became legally recognized as a mitigating factor in sentencing for these types of crimes. Clubine was released in 2008 and continues working as an educator on this issue.

On a local note, the nonprofit organization National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women was established in Philadelphia in 1987, the first such group in the U.S. It continues providing information and support for abused women charged or convicted of crimes.

Power Street Theatre Company made its debut at the 2013 Fringe Festival with MinorityLand, about gentrification in a community near an urban university campus; this production was also presented at Taller Puertorriqueño. Morir Sonyando, by Erlina Ortiz, will run September 5 through 13 (click here for tickets and more information).

Sin by Silence will screen on Saturday, August 16 at 1pm to 5pm at Taller Puertorriqueño, 2557 N. 5th Street, Philadelphia. There will be a suggested donation of $5.