Raising Cassidy is a dramatic, troubling, and at times heroic story of a woman’s battle with addiction, when the stakes are the highest. Cheryl is a 33-year old stripper and crack addict who has had three children, but raised none of them. Her first child she gave up through private adoption, while the second and third were both taken before their first birthday by the Ontario Children’s Aid Society (CAS). Now Cassidy, Cheryl’s fourth child, has also been apprehended by CAS after Cheryl gave birth high on crack.
This documentary records Cheryl’s battle to regain custody and raise her fourth daughter, Cassidy. An inspirational and provocative story, it is a defining example of the struggle to break cycles of abuse and poverty. Narrated by the director, the film offers an intimate, first-person account of a woman torn between motherhood and addiction. Raising Cassidy follows Cheryl through the highs and lows of her ongoing struggle using a classic cinema verité style. Dramatic scenes are developed through personal interviews with Cheryl, her father and the team of professionals involved in her recovery.
The child of an addicted mother, an addict herself for 17 years, a career stripper with a history of violence – will Cheryl and Cassidy be able to break the cycle of abuse?
Format: Feature Documentary 75 mins
Discovery Health – 9 September 2003
Life Network – 10 October 2003
Canal D – 29 January 2004
iChannel – 20 June 2011
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2003
Montreal International Documentary Festival 2003
Director/Writer Nadine Pequeneza
Producers Nadine Pequeneza and Andrea Nemtin
Cinematographers Peter Walker, Alister Bell and Colin Allison
Sound Recordist Alister Bell
Editors Ricardo Acosta
Original Music David Johanns
Executive Producer Andrea Nemtin
Produced by PTV Productions in co-production with HitPlay Productions. In Association with Discovery Health, Life Network and with the participation of CMF.