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A Jury of Her Peers

A Jury of Her Peers

On a desolate American farm in the early 1900's, a farmer is found murdered in his sleep and his wife is jailed as the prime suspect. A powerful adaptation of the 1917 Susan Glaspell short story of the same name, based on her play "Trifles", A JURY OF HER PEERS presents a riveting tale of revenge, justice and women’s shared experience. Equally relevant in women’s studies courses and for use with organizations battling violence against women, this riveting feminist classic probes the notion of women’s victimization and justifiable homicide and opens the possibility for the creation of an alternate, feminist justice and judgment. Two women, a neighbor and the sheriff’s wife, find themselves in the accused woman’s kitchen while the prosecuting attorney and their husbands search the farm for motive for the crime. As the camera lingers on small details in the kitchen – spilled sugar, a broken chair, crooked stitches in a quilt piece – the motive becomes clear as the suspect’s isolated life of physical and emotional abuse is revealed. As each new clue further incriminates the accused, the women must decide whether to reveal the evidence against her and become, in effect, a jury of her peers.

“Simple, powerful, jolting.”
The New York Times

“Brilliant and compelling little masterpiece.”
David Robinson, The London Times

“A gripping short drama that lays open some of the most basic differences between men's and women's lives, and the potential bearing of these differences on legal norms. A genuine classic.”
Katharine T. Bartlett, Professor, Duke University School of Law

“How wonderful that A Jury of Her Peers is again available…for provoking critical thought about gender and social institutions, as well as for exploring notions of women's voice, feminist perspective, and collective identity. …From introduction to women's studies to feminist research methods, it never fails to get my students thinking in new ways about women, history, and justice.”
Andrea Friedman, Hist. & Women's Studies, Washington University


Main credits

Heckel, Sally (film director)
Heckel, Sally (film producer)
Heckel, Sally (editor of moving image work)
Fried, Bette (screenwriter)
De Lorian, Diane (actor)
Lancaster, Dorothy (actor)

Other credits

Camera, Janet Meyers; sound editor, Josh Waletzky.

Docuseek subjects

Distributor subjects

Cinema Studies, Law, Literature, Theatre/Dance, Violence Against Women


Domestic violence, Law and Legal studies, Marital issues; "A Jury of her Peers"; Women Make Movies