For six years, filmmaker Daniel H. Birman followed Cyntoia Brown who at age 16 faced a life sentence in prison for killing a person who picked her up for sex.
Following Cyntoia through her trial, this documentary raises a few simple questions:
Is murder wrong? Yes.
Should a person who commits murder be punished? Undoubtedly.
But in Cyntoia’s case, the answers do not come so easily.
Separated from her biological mother, growing up with an abusive adoptive father, and exposed to drug and sex abuse at a young age, Cyntoia’s childhood was anything but childlike.
Yet, does that justify the court trying her as an adult?
At the end of the day, we are all accountable for our actions, but what protection is there for children who grow up in such adverse social situations?
Cyntoia’s reflections on her life are both honest and insightful, including the circumstances of poor child rearing and the lack of adequate parenting that shaped her trajectory:
It’s not only hurting a baby, you’re hurting whoever that baby hurts when it turns into the terror that it’s gonna turn it to.