Women, Film, and Law

Women, Film, and Law

Cinematic Representations of Female Incarceration

Law and Society

by Suzanne Bouclin

Published by: UBC Press

224 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm, 7 b&w photos

  • ISBN: 9780774865876
  • Published: October 2021



Entertainment and profit constitute the driving force behind popular representations of women in correctional facilities. But the creative influence of film and television also generates legal meaning. The women-in-prison (WIP) genre can leave viewers feeling both empathetic toward the women portrayed in these representations and troubled about the crimes for which they have been convicted.

Focusing on five exemplary WIP films and a television series – Ann Vickers, Caged, Caged Heat, Stranger Inside, Civil Brand, and Orange Is the New Black Women, Film, and Law asks how fictional representations explore, shape, and refine beliefs about women who are incarcerated. From melodrama to exploitation, and from theatre screenings to on-demand film, television programs, and music videos, these texts bring into view the legal, economic, and political structures that criminalize women differently from men, and that target those women who are already marginalized.

Women, Film, and Law convincingly argues that popular depictions of women’s imprisonment can illuminate the multiple forms of social exclusion and oppression experienced by criminalized women.