Executive-produced by Jordan Peele, series looks at notorious 1993 case of woman who sliced off husband's penis
Sundance announced on Monday its slate of short films, special events and indie series for the 2019 festival, a list that includes the world premiere of Jordan Peele's docuseries on one of the most notorious stories from the 1990s .
Lorena will re-examine the case of Lorena Bobbitt and her husband John Wayne Bobbitt, which exploded into national consciousness in 1993. Lorena was arrested in June of that year after she cut off her husband's penis as he slept. She later threw the dismembered organ into a field but subsequently called 9-1-1. Surgeons reattached Bobbitt's penis during a nine-and-a-half hour operation.
Lorena testified at trial that her husband had raped her the night before she assaulted him with a knife, and that he had subjected her to regular physical and emotional abuse during their four years of marriage.
"This groundbreaking series re-investigates the story that made international headlines and helped birth a 24-hour news cycle," Sundance programmers commented, "exploring vital moral issues and the missed opportunity for a national discussion about domestic violence and sexual assault within this American scandal."
Peele, who won an Oscar earlier this year for his original screenplay for the horror film Get Out, serves as executive producer on Lorena, along with Joshua Rofé, Steven J Berger, Win Rosenfeld, Thomas Lesinski, and Jenna Santoianni. Amazon Studios is producing.
Related: Jordan Peele on his Bobbitt docuseries: 'With this project, Lorena has a platform to tell her truth'
Sundance will also host the world premiere of Amy Berg's politically-themed untitled docuseries.
"While the 2016 election catalyzed the Women’s March and a new era of feminist activism, Tamika Mallory and Erika Andiola have been fighting for their communities for decades," Sundance wrote of the series. "Their stories expose the fundamental connection between personal and political and raise the question: what's intersectionality and can it save the world?"
The festival will also premiere the latest season of the comedy series Documentary Now!, which parodies nonfiction filmmaking.
Sundance wrote, "Celebrate the art of nonfiction storytelling as the creators of Documentary Now! present two new films: "Waiting for the Artist", starring Cate Blanchett and Fred Armisen, and "Original Cast Album: Co-op", starring John Mulaney, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Alex Brightman, Paula Pell, Richard Kind and Taran Killam."
These are the documentary shorts that have been accepted into the festival:
All Inclusive / Switzerland (Director and screenwriter: Corina Schwingruber Ilić) — Under the spell of mass entertainment on the high seas.
Black 14 / U.S.A. (Director: Darius Clark Monroe) — An archival social study examining white pathology and cognitive dissonance via media coverage of a 1969 racial protest at the University of Wyoming.
Cablestreet / U.S.A. (Director: Meredith Lackey) — A cable system designed by controversial Chinese company Huawei Technologies enables communication between an expert and a machine. Time succumbs to space in a ‘New Cold War’ played out in technological materials. World Premiere
The Dispossessed / India (Director and screenwriter: Musa Syeed) — Hazari is a traditional faith healer, exorcising patients who've been possessed by jinn. But in Kashmir, amidst the world’s longest running conflict, nothing is as it seems. World Premiere
Dulce / U.S.A., Colombia (Directors: Guille Isa, Angello Faccini) — In coastal Colombia, facing rising tides made worse by climate change, a mother teaches her daughter how to swim so that she may go to the mangroves and harvest 'piangua' shellfish with the other women in the village.
Easter Snap / U.S.A. (Director: RaMell Ross) — With a baited handling of American symbolism, an examination of five Alabama men, who resurrect the homestead ritual of hog processing in the deep South under the guidance of Johnny Blackmon. World Premiere
Edgecombe / U.S.A. (Director: Crystal Kayiza) — Through the deeply personal truths of three local residents, an examination of the ways trauma repeats and reinvents itself in rural Black communities.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Sudden Birth* (*but were afraid to ask) / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Scott Calonico) — The true story of how the Berkeley Police Department, the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands, and Mr. Spock from Star Trek are all connected by one of the most disturbing educational films ever created. World Premiere
FAST HORSE / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Alexandra Lazarowich) — The Blackfoot bareback horse-racing tradition returns in the astonishingly dangerous Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow struggles with second-hand horses and a new jockey on his way to challenge the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy.
The Ghost Behind / U.S.A. (Director: Caroline Rumley) — Four friends. Many bands. Expectations. Addiction. Loss.
Ghosts of Sugar Land / U.S.A. (Director: Bassam Tariq) — In Sugar Land, Texas, a group of young Muslim-American men ponder the disappearance of their friend “Mark,” who is suspected of joining ISIS. World Premiere
It's Going To Be Beautiful / U.S.A., Mexico (Directors and screenwriters: Luis Gutierrez Arias, John Henry Theisen) — The U.S. Border Patrol has been given the task of choosing a winning design for building a wall on the U.S.- Mexico border.
Libre / U.S.A. (Director: Anna Barsan) — Undocumented immigrants forced to spend months in detention are turning to private companies to secure their release on bond. In exchange, immigrants pay exorbitant monthly fees for a GPS ankle monitor they can't remove.
Life in Miniature / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Ellen Evans) — A celebration of one woman's mission to document the every day, as she carves a place for herself in the precious world of miniatures. U.S. Premiere
Life Overtakes Me / Sweden, U.S.A. (Directors: John Haptas, Kristine Samuelson) — Facing deportation, hundreds of refugee children in Sweden have become afflicted with Resignation Syndrome, withdrawing from the world into a coma-like state, as if frozen, for months, or even years. World Premiere
STAY CLOSE / U.S.A., China (Directors and screenwriters: Shuhan Fan, Luther Clement) — The underdog story of a fencer from Brooklyn who overcomes a gauntlet of hardships on the road to the Olympics. World Premiere
Throat Singing in Kangirsuk / Canada (Directors: Eva Kaukai, Manon Chamberland, Screenwriters: Emilie Baillargeon and Clark Ferguson) — Eva and Manon practice the art of throat singing in their native Arctic land, in the small village of Kangirsuk. World Premiere
The Tough / Poland (Director and screenwriter: Marcin Polar) — A discovery arouses a man's imagination and propels him forward in an uncouth and obsessive way. Step by step, the camera participates as he explores of places hitherto unknown to humankind, which offer increasingly stronger resistance against human delicacy. World Premiere
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.