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Yale Grad Screens Documentary On Battered Woman At Greenwich Film Festival

"The Nature of the Beast" will screen at the Greenwich International Film Festival.
"The Nature of the Beast" will screen at the Greenwich International Film Festival. Video Credit: docued

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Documentary filmmaker and Yale alum Ondi Timoner will host a screening of her film, "The Nature of the Beast" on Friday, June 10 as part of the Greenwich International Film Festival at Greenwich Public Library.

Timoner won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival twice, for "Dig!’ and "We Live In Public."

"The Nature of the Beast" chronicles the unjust prosecution of battered Hartford woman Bonnie Foreshaw for jacked-up charges in an accidental shooting.

Timoner, of Pasadena, Calif., will host a question and answer session after the screening.

She produced and filmed "The Nature of the Beast" while at Yale in the 1990s. “I was sure my film would force the powers-that-be to release Bonnie back in 1994, but the film went on PBS and nothing happened,” Timoner wrote in the Prologue to "more COOL JUSTICE," a collection of newspaper columns by Andy Thibault featuring the Foreshaw case.

“I realized people weren’t watching documentaries in the early '90s so I went to Los Angeles to try to get a TV movie made to reach people and start a movement but I was told the story was too controversial," Timoner said.

Foreshaw ended up serving more than 27 years on a charge of premeditated murder of a woman she had never met.

Foreshaw was granted a clemency hearing and ultimately freed after Thibault and Digital First Media published a memo called "The Blue Note" by former public defender Jon Blue, now a Superior Court judge who presided over the Cheshire murder cases.

Blue and others argued the proper charge for the accidental shooting should have been manslaughter.

The memo was made public in a COOL JUSTICE column published in May 2013 by the New Haven Register, The Register Citizen of Torrington, The Middletown Press and Litchfield County Times.

Foreshaw was granted clemency six months later after the state reversed a decision denying her a hearing.

Timoner resumed her coverage of the case during and after the clemency hearing.

Foreshaw, a contributor to the prison journals, “Couldn’t Keep It To Myself” and “I’ll Fly Away,” has begun work on a memoir. She has also spoken at libraries and colleges since being released on Nov. 15, 2013.

"The Nature of the Beast" will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Greenwich library located at 101 W. Putnam Ave.Tickets are available via the Greenwich International Film Festival at http://www.greenwichfilm.org/ .

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