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FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

A RAPE IN A SMALL TOWN: THE FLORENCE HOLWAY STORY

TFF 2004
FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE A RAPE IN A SMALL TOWN: THE FLORENCE HOLWAY STORY [TFF 2004]
Jeff Chapman skillfully tells a story of unbelievable viciousness and inspiring activism. Florence Holway raised six children in the small town of Alton, New Hampshire. She was a vibrant, eccentric mother, and through example she inspired her children to live life without fear. So when, at age 76, she was brutally attacked and raped by a 25-year-old man who broke into her rural home, she fell to pieces. Twelve years later, she remains sharp and feisty but laments the loss of the person she used to be, "The woman who was raped was able and strong." After the defendant copped a plea bargain with the State, denying Florence the right to tell her story in court, she embarked on a publicity campaign and the national press quickly picked up her story. Despite the disgusting crime committed and the press her story generates, the plea bargain proceeds. Now, with her attacker up for parole, the wounds have been opened once again. This unforgettable story shows how one woman, who is the model of pragmatism, responds to debilitating violence by fighting for her rights. Florence never succumbs to depression, and her tenacity pays off in the form of a statewide registry for sex offenders and increased penalties for sex crimes. A Rape in a Small Town is shocking yet inspiring, and Chapman deftly balances the incredible anguish of rape with an important story of how one women refused to give up.
Jeff Chapman skillfully tells a story of unbelievable viciousness and inspiring activism. Florence Holway raised six children in the small town of Alton, New Hampshire. She was a vibrant, eccentric mother, and through example she inspired her children to live life without fear. So when, at age 76, she was brutally attacked and raped by a 25-year-old man who broke into her rural home, she fell to pieces. Twelve years later, she remains sharp and feisty but laments the loss of the person she used to be, "The woman who was raped was able and strong." After the defendant copped a plea bargain with the State, denying Florence the right to tell her story in court, she embarked on a publicity campaign and the national press quickly picked up her story. Despite the disgusting crime committed and the press her story generates, the plea bargain proceeds. Now, with her attacker up for parole, the wounds have been opened once again. This unforgettable story shows how one woman, who is the model of pragmatism, responds to debilitating violence by fighting for her rights. Florence never succumbs to depression, and her tenacity pays off in the form of a statewide registry for sex offenders and increased penalties for sex crimes. A Rape in a Small Town is shocking yet inspiring, and Chapman deftly balances the incredible anguish of rape with an important story of how one women refused to give up.
Film Information
Year: 2004
Length: 72 minutes
Language: English
Country: USA
Premiere: World
About the Director(s)
After directing actors in George DiCenzo's Actors Workshop for two years in Philadelphia and New York, Jeffrey Chapman trained in film, video production, and editing. In 1998, he started pursuing a career in independent filmmaking. Deciding on a documentary about the long-term effects of rape on an elderly woman, her family, and the surrounding community in Alton, New Hampshire, Chapman started production in February 1999. Later that year he founded Ginnymacjack Productions with his wife, Charlene Chapman. A Rape In a Small Town: The Florence Holway Story, is their first project.

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