On her way to the store with a group of friends, Chrishaun Reed “CeCe” McDonald was brutally attacked. While defending her life, a man was killed. After a coercive interrogation, CeCe was incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota. An international campaign to free CeCe garnered significant support from media and activists, including actress Laverne Cox. Cox signed on as executive producer of FREE CECE!, committed to exploring the role race, class, and gender played in CeCe’s case. In the end, CeCe emerged not only as a survivor, but also as a leader.
Documentarian Jac Gares pushed past the everyday narratives of victimhood surrounding the lives of transgender people, to spotlight the way CeCe and other trans people are leading a growing movement fighting for the rights of transgender people everywhere. CeCe's powerful story highlights the groundswell of voices questioning the prison industrial complex and calling for its disassembly.
Runtime: 87 min.
Genres: Documentary, Criminal Justice, Gender Studies
Subtitles / Closed Captioning: English Captions Available
"This is an important film - not just because CeCe’s story needs to be told to a wider audience who may have missed it in between 2012 and 2014, but also for the other topics it perfectly covers - the astronomically and unacceptably high rate of trans murders in the United States (specifically trans women of color, whose average life expectancy is 35), the state of the US penal system and the incarceration of trans women in male only prisons (and vice versa). The treatment of this documentary is well done and respectful. Laverne Cox is a powerful and influential figure and is certain to get audiences through the doors, but she never takes over from CeCe’s overall story or steals the focus in anyway." —The Independent