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How I Got Over

A film by Nicole Boxer

87 Minutes

Closed Captioned • Scene Selection

Grades 11 - Adult
Item #:HIG-1077

Select DVD License (limited PPR included)

K-12 Schools, Public Libraries, Community Groups - $89
K-12 DVD + Digital File - $139
Colleges, Businesses, Other Institutions - $295
Colleges (DVD with Digital Site License) - $395

Could telling your story save your life?

How I Got Over is an intimate, innovative profile of 15 formerly homeless and incarcerated African-American women that dramatically reveals the social causes of their plight and how their lives were transformed.

The film follows the women for 12 weeks as they craft and rehearse an original play based on their harrowing, true-life stories. None have had any acting experience and are guided by the Theater Lab's "Life Stories" program. Their work together leads to an emotional, one-night only, sold-out performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

All 15 are from the nation’s capitol, where 21% of women live in poverty. Many seek shelter at N Street Village, a homeless and recovery facility, and the backdrop for the film.

As their stories unfold, we learn that most of them suffered earlier trauma and abuse -- including domestic violence and incest -- that led to their lives of drug abuse and homelessness. Reckoning with their troubled pasts in the play, addiction and homelessness look less like the result of personal choices and more clearly an outcome of the social circumstances they were born into.

How I Got Over begins by tracing how America has declared war on poverty over and over again without much, if any, success. The film ends with the women quite literally stepping out of the darkness and into the spotlight, with an uplifting performance that provides a call to reconsider the root causes of poverty and homelessness, and what might be accomplished if more resources were devoted to recovery support, as well as to the transformative power of theater and the arts.

  • About N Street - Executive Director Schroeder Stribling describes what N Street Village is and the services it provides for homeless and addicted women in Washington, DC.
  • On Trauma - Stribling talks about how disempowering it is to be traumatized, specifically how it feels for women, and what it means to be empowered.
  • Channeling Childhood - The women of N Street engage in a creative exercise where each re-enacts early memories from their childhood.
  • Linda Levels Up - Linda reads a letter she wrote that describes how she is recovering in a drug rehab program and going back to school for her GED, and hears the news that she has reached Level 1 in the N Street Village program.
  • Shevanda Backstory - Shevanda shares the painful story of her troubled childhood and shows a photo of what she looked like before getting help at N Street.
  • Tacarra Backstory - Tacarra talks about the crime she was charged with and reveals how going to prison was a “wake-up call” for her, and is in a better place now.
  • Valerie Backstory - Valerie candidly talks about how she’s recovering at the N Street Village and her current healthy relationship with most of her children.
  • Rose Backstory - Rose tells an emotional story about her family and addiction, including how an undercover police officer arrested her and her son for selling crack.

Preview link available upon request. Contact [email protected] for more information
How I Got Over
How I Got Over

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