BOSTON – Community Resources for Justice is remembering the life and work of Jenny Phillips, the award-winning filmmaker whose documentaries humanized the struggles and successes of currently and formerly incarcerated individuals.
Phillips, whose films include 2008’s “The Dhamma Brothers” and 2016’s “Beyond the Wall,” died earlier this month in an apparent accidental drowning off of Nantucket. She was 76.
Informed by a lifelong commitment to social justice, Phillips received CRJ’s Community Hero Award in 2009 for “The Dhamma Brothers,” her first documentary. The film is set in an Alabama prison known as the “House of Pain” where Phillips worked with others to introduce inmates to an ancient meditation practice.
Her follow-up film, “Beyond the Wall,” chronicles the efforts of a former inmate-turned-counselor to help individuals in Lawrence and Lowell reenter the community after incarceration.
“Jenny’s work gave a voice and an audience to individuals that our society is all too quick to forget,” CRJ President & CEO John Larivee said. “She treated the individuals she documented with humanity, dignity, and respect, and her work forces others to do the same. She was a great friend, humanitarian, and champion for the overlooked in our society. Her passion will no doubt live on through her remarkable films and writing.”