Strange Piece of Paradise is a journey into the heart of American violence; it is both a vividly brutal story and a redemptive tale of self-reclamation and justice–asking why is America such a violent place for women, who are the perpetrators, and what is the nature of the suffering they inflict, not only on their victims but on whole communities. As we witness our protagonist's emotional progression, the story holds us in its grip until we realize we have witnessed a stunning reversal: the victim hunts down the suspected perpetrator. It is transformative in the best way, soul changing, with the promise of altering a culture that far too often aims toward and glorifies destruction.
Donna Deitch segued from documentary filmmaker to Producing and Directing ‘Desert Hearts’, the landmark lesbian love story and hit of the 1986 Sundance, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals.
After seeing the film, Oprah Winfrey hired Donna to direct the Emmy nominated mini series ‘The Women of Brewster Place’. This was the beginning of 25 years and counting directing in television: HBO’s ‘Prison Stories, Women on the Inside’; ABC’s sexual harassment themed ‘Sexual Advances’, Showtime’s gay/lesbian drama ‘Common Ground’ and the Holocaust story ‘Devil’s Arithmetic’ for which she won an Emmy.
She has directed many hours of television drama including numerous episodes of NYPD Blue, ER, Heroes, Law and Order: SVU, Private Practice, Gray’s Anatomy, Judging Amy, Oprah’s Greenleaf and many others.
Directing the film of Terri Jentz’ true crime memoir Strange Piece of Paradise takes her full circle as a filmmaker to telling a story that changes hearts and minds and reminds us that the personal really is political.