Dead Women Walking (2018): Israeli Hagar Ben-Asher’s Docu of Last Hours of Eight Different Women

Composed of nine stories, each anchored by a subtle, yet overwhelming performance, Dead Women Walking traces the final days of  women on death row, from two weeks before one inmate’s execution to mere minutes before another’s.
Israeli director Hagar Ben-Asher takes a bold strategy in her original and powerful documentary, which world premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Fest and is also playing in the Venice Days series at the Venice Film Fest in September.
As these narratives develop, we observe the multiple effects,  the human toll of the death penalty—not only on the women convicted of violent crimes, but also on their families, prison officials, and ministers and counselors coaching them through their final days—comes into clear focus.
The women–and their close ones–take different approaches to their last living hours:
Wendy’s mother declines to visit her the day before her execution.
Helen meets her 18-year-old son (Moonlight’s Ashton Sanders) for the first time since he was adopted shortly after her imprisonment.

Celine decides to watch a documentary about her case and conviction while having her last meal.

The film raises the obvious question, Why did they do it? and, also a more implicit and rarely asked issue: How does society deal with women’s violence?

Hagar Ben-Asher has made unflinching, nuanced film, which sheds light on the death penalty by using personal narratives to address bigger and more significant societal issue.
Born in Israel, Hagar Ben-Asher received a film degree from the Minshar School of Art in 2007. Her film, Pathways, premiered at the Cinéfondation in Cannes in 2007. Her feature debut, The Slut, which she wrote, directed, and starred in, also premiered at Cannes.
In 2016, she released her most recent feature film, The Burglar.
Films of Similar Theme:
I Want to Live!
Dead Man Waking