The Sentence

2018 | USA | NR | 87 min.


Milliken at the Dennos Museum Fri, Aug 3, 2018 3:00 PM
Central High School Auditorium Sat, Aug 4, 2018 12:00 PM
Film Info
Release Year:2018
Runtime:87 min.
Premiere Status:Midwest Premiere
Production Country:USA
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Rudy Valdez
Produced by:Sam Bisbee
Jackie Kelman Bisbee
Cinematography:Rudy Valdez
Editing By:Viridiana Lieberman


This Sundance Audience Award Winner with Michigan roots is a deeply personal portrait about the consequences of mass incarceration and mandatory minimums on a Lansing family. Cindy Shank was a happily married mother of three little girls when her family's life is turned upside down. For her tangential relationship to a drug dealing ex-boyfriend from a lifetime ago, Cindy is convicted of conspiracy through a little-known law known as “The Girlfriend Problem.” The minimum sentence? 15 excruciating years. Enter Cindy's filmmaker brother Rudy Valdez, on hand to document every moment of his nieces new lives. From the morning goodbyes to Halloween costumes and birthday wishes and everything in between, as years pass, their mother's absence feels more and more permanent. Drawing upon hundreds of hours of footage, The Sentence was born out of Rudy's very human desire to capture every moment for his sister as she tries to be a mother to her children against insurmountable odds. The result is an impossibly moving and beautiful film that won't leave a dry eye in the house. Bring tissues. IN PERSON: Director Rudy Valdez; Subjects Cindy Shank, Autumn Shank, Ava Shank, Annalis Shank, Adam Shank.