Girl Trouble

A documentary by Lexi Leban, Lidia Szajko featured on PBS' Independent Lens.


Shot over a period of four years, Girl Trouble documents the compelling personal stories of three teenage girls entangled in San Francisco's failing juvenile justice system.


Stephanie is pregnant and has a warrant for running away from a group home. Shangra is torn between taking care of her mother, who is homeless and struggling with drug addiction, and taking care of herself. Sheila, whose father and siblings have been in and out of jail, risks arrest and jail time by selling and using drugs. Girl Trouble is an intimate look at the compelling personal stories of three teenagers entangled in San Francisco's juvenile justice system. These girls, and many like them, aren't just at-risk - they are in deep trouble. Read More

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By The Power Vested in Me

"As California goes, so goes the nation".

By The Power Vested in Me, is the story of the historic battle for marriage equality in the Golden State.


Photograph by Anita Bowen.

By The Power Vested in Me is an exploration of the effects of the rollercoaster ride for marriage equality in the state of California on the plaintiffs, activists, and attorneys involved in a series of legal challenges over a period of 7 years.

The documentary follows the key players from the “Winter of Love” in February 2004 when Gavin Newsome allowed LGBT couples to marry at San Francisco’s City Hall, through the stunning and unexpected passage of Proposition 8 in November of 2008 when citizens of California voted to deny the right of gay people to marry, and concludes with the historic outcome of the federal court challenge to the constitutionality of Proposition 8.

Through an insightful examination of the history and rationale for marriage equality and the opposition to it, the film reveals the tension between the California referendum process meant to increase democratic participation, and the role of the court to protect the minority from the unconstitutional will of the majority.

By The Power Vested in Me examines the questions: What is the relationship between democracy and civil rights? Should the issue of marriage equality be put up for a popular vote? How do cultures change overtime on key issues of civil rights?