Guest House Poster
The poster for directors Yael Luttwak, Yael Luttwak’s documentary, ‘Guest House.’
Guest House
Maddison and Selena share a hug at the Guest House.
Credit: Dweck Productions

Offering an honest portrait of women pursuing their dreams and desires as they reintegrate into society from the prison system is a powerful message that’s extremely needed in modern society. That endearing message of women overcoming their feelings of shame, isolation and disappointment, so they can be free to pursue their dreams, is highlighted in the new documentary, ‘Guest House.’ In honor of the movie’s upcoming distribution on the film festival circuit, ShockYa is exclusively premiering the documentary’s poster.

‘Guest House,’ which marks the feature debut of director Hannah Dweck, was co-directed by Yael Luttwak. It’s set to open at the Hot Springs Film Festival October 23 at noon, and then at the Austin Film Festival on October 26 at 1pm and October 28 at 4:30pm.

Following the women over six weeks, with intimate access to their routines around the clock, ‘Guest House’ shows the complexities and daily ups and downs during a time when they’re figuring out who they can trust, and if they can even trust themselves. Grace, Maddison and Selena have been in and out of prison since their teen years. They meet at the Guest House, a residential home nestled in a quiet neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia. The Guest House is a live-in program that supports women in the crucial six weeks after they are released from prison. At the Guest House, the women form new routines and new friendships. They master life skills, including work, managing money, preparing meals and building the emotional support and self-care they need to succeed.

Dweck and Luttwak are presenting ‘Guest House’ at a time when drug sentencing and prison overcrowding are in crisis. According to data from The Sentencing Project, the number of incarcerated women rose from 26,378 to 225,060 between 1980 and 2017, an increase of 750%. Women in state prisons are also more likely than men to be incarcerated for a drug or property offense.

According to data collected by the US Department of Health and Human Services, between 1999 and 2015, the rate of deaths from prescription opioid overdoses increased 471 percent among women, compared to an increase of 218 percent among men. Heroin deaths among women increased at more than twice the rate than among men.

For more on ‘Guest House,’ visit its official website.

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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