by Oakland L. Childers
Colorado Daily Staff Writer

statesman.jpgIn a darkened studio at Boulder's Garkie Group, the blue glow of a television screen fills the room. As a technician makes final adjustments to the video, eerie images flicker on the screens.

In one, a police officer appears. In another, a child's drawing illustrates a dark home life. His father is pictured as a monster. His mother is locked in a dog kennel.

The scenes are from a documentary by Boulder resident Lori Joyce called "Shattered Lives." The film is about domestic violence, and is nearly ready for release.

Joyce, a producer and owner of Idanha Films in Boulder, hopes to hold the premier in conjunction with a benefit sometime in October, which is domestic violence month. Joyce said she has sent an early draft to PBS for consideration on the show "Point of View." One of her earlier films, "In Remembrance of Martin," a documentary about Martin Luther King Jr., aired nationally on PBS for three years.

Joyce has been making documentaries since the early 1980s, when she focused mainly on peace and justice issues. She made films then about King, nuclear weapons and the unrest in South America.

But despite the magnitude of the topics she worked with, Joyce was drawn to a much less obvious, though equally important form of violence.

"I suddenly realized through my own personal relationships and relationships my daughters were getting into that there was no way to have peace in the world as long as we have violence in the home," said Joyce.

Joyce decided that the best way she could contribute to ending domestic violence was to "start the education process." Being a documentary filmmaker, "Shattered Lives" was the obvious catalyst for change.

Joyce has hoed a tough row since writing the script for "Shattered Lives" in 1994. Though domestic violence seems to be everywhere, Joyce said most people are not comfortable confronting it.

"Most people have been exposed to domestic violence or witnessed family violence," said Joyce. "Almost everybody that I talk to on the street, if the subject comes up, they've been involved in an abusive relationship or they know someone who has," she said.

Even though the issue is one that many people are familiar with from firsthand experience Joyce said raising funds for the film has been difficult. She said she has never had as much trouble raising money for a film as she has for "Shattered Lives."

"I believe is is because there is still quite a bit of denial," said Joyce.

Joyce said she has not been able to raise all of the money she needs for the film. She said she has paid for much of it through deferred payment, and hopes to get corporate sponsor.

"Shattered Lives" examines domestic violence from several different angles. One aspect of domestic violence the film deals with is the effect violence in the home has on children. Joyce said children who are exposed to domestic violence are more likely to become abusive adults or seek our abusive partners.

Through her documentary, Joyce hopes to help end such cycles of abuse. The video shows the steps necessary to do this.

"You can break the cycle and choose healthy relationships," she said. "Its an educational piece, but we have shown that we can move beyond this (cycle of violence)."

The video also deals with steps being taken by law enforcement and the community to end domestic violence and reach out to violent offenders to help them change.

Although the film is meant to do good, facing the issue of domestic violence on a daily basis was not always easy, Joyce said.

"You have to keep looking at the footage over and over again," she said, adding she sometimes became disturbed by the image she captured. "It's been a real emotional roller coaster."