September Staff Recommendations

Staff Recommendations:

This month’s staff recommendations come from two other Virginia CASA organizations! The first from Rappahannock CASA’s Executive Director, Janet Watkins, and the second from the Executive Director of CASA of Central Virginia, Allison Stronza. 

The Florida Project follows six-year-old Moonee and her single mother Halley as they live week to week at “The Magic Castle”, a budget motel set in the shadows of Walt Disney World. Despite her harsh surroundings, Moonee has no trouble making each day a celebration of life. Unbeknownst to Moonee, however, her fantasy is supported by the toil and sacrifice of Halley, who is forced to explore increasingly dangerous possibilities in order to provide for her daughter. 

Now streaming on Hulu, Showtime, and Amazon Prime (premium subscriptions) 

Anatomy of Doubt, a four-part podcast series by This American Life tells two intertwined stories of events that occurred between August 2008 and June 2012. First, the story of Marie, an 18-year-old girl who grew up in foster care and reported being bound, gagged, and raped in her apartment to police in August of 2008. The law enforcement and foster family members who came to the scene that day found Marie’s reaction to the event to be unemotional and detached, which planted the seeds of doubt. Marie was subsequently coerced by police to concede that she fabricated the story. The second narrative details the police investigations into a serial rapist in Colorado, who was linked to Marie by photo evidence following his arrest in 2011, validating Marie’s story after years of disbelief by her friends, foster families, and law enforcement. This series tells a powerful story of how trauma can impact the way a victim acts and reacts, and what happens when we cast judgment on what a “normal” reaction to trauma should look like.

You can stream the podcast series on This American Life’s website and find the original article at the link below.