This gut-wreching film by producers Angela Tucker, Christen Marquez and Nicole Ducta, and Peabody-winning director Erika Cohn follows the courageous actions of two women fighting a disturbing pattern of involuntary sterilizations, sexual abuse and other violations perpetrated against female inmate — mostly Black and Latinx — detained in one of California's largest prisons.

When the film's protagonists, a young inmate and a fearless lawyer, discover a pattern of illegal involuntary sterilizations in California’s women’s prison system, they take to the courtroom to wage an unprecedented battle against the California Department of Corrections. Together with a team of investigators, both inside and outside the prison, they uncover not one, but a series of statewide crimes — from dangerously inadequate health care to sexual assault to coercive sterilizations. But no one believes them. The film chronicles seven years of this shocking legal drama and focuses public attention on the shameful and ongoing legacy of eugenics and reproductive injustice in the United States.

Belly of the Beast had its television premiere on Independent Lens on Thurs., Nov. 23, 2020, and is currently streaming online.



Angela Tucker is the co-founder of TuckerGurl, LLC.