Rudy Valdez, Former Faculty Member, Brings Documentary to C&C
"You don't hear about the children left behind."
Rudy Valdez, former City and Country School IVs and Vs Associate Teacher, began filming his nieces so their mother, Cynthia Shank, would be able to have a record of their growing up when she got out of prison. Sentenced to 15 years under mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for not reporting the crimes of an ex-boyfriend, Cynthia was taken into custody six weeks after the birth of her third child. What started as a personal project, eventually became the documentary, The Sentence, which follows the family through the years of separation. Rudy worked with C&C parents and producers Sam Bisbee and Jackie Kelman Bisbee to create a film that went on to be selected for The Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO. Sam also composed and performed the score. As part of the monthly C&C Parent Diversity Meetings series, parents, faculty, and staff gathered to view the film and engage Rudy in discussion. These meetings focus on building community, social justice, equity, and inclusion. "I did not feel empowered to tell the stories of my family when I was young. I became a filmmaker to make this film, to make the film that was in my heart," Rudy shared. You can watch the trailer here.