Home Truth

In the wake of her daughters murders, a mother takes a historic lawsuit about police non-enforcement of restraining orders to the Supreme Court.

Film Signature Image
PBS Plus Presentation
Premiere Date
October 2, 2018
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
Diversity Development Fund

Katia Maguire

Katia Maguire recently produced Participant Media’s Kingdom of Shadows (SXSW, Full Frame, DocNYC, IDFA 2015), a documentary about the US/Mexico drug war that aired on PBS’s POV September, 2016. She also produced The Graduates/Los Graduados, a bilingual series about Latino high school students that premiered on PBS’ Independent Lens in 2013. Show more Previously she was senior associate producer on Women, War & Peace, a five-part PBS series about women and modern conflict, and co-producer on Quest for Honor, a documentary about violence against women in Iraq that was short-listed for the 2010 Academy Award and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Show less

Other ITVS Films
The Graduates/Los Graduados

April Hayes

April Hayes is a New York-based documentary director, producer, cinematographer and editor. Her most recent project as a producer is a forthcoming feature documentary directed by five-time Academy Award-nominated director/writer David O. Russell, and she previously worked as Supervising Producer on a feature documentary directed by Martin Show more Scorsese, airing on HBO, about the music industry and cultural landscape of the 1970s. April directed and shot Respond & Rebuild, a short documentary about Occupy’s post-Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in the Rockaways that was featured on Democracy Now! in 2013, and with Katia Maguire, co-directed the short documentary God is a Garden (2015), about an order of environmentalist nuns. For seven years, April was archivist to Bob Dylan, and the in-house producer for his film and video projects. Show less

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The Film

In 1999, Jessica Gonzales, a Latina and Native American woman from Colorado, experiences every parent’s worst nightmare when her estranged husband abducts their three young daughters in violation of a domestic violence restraining order. By 4 a.m. the following morning, Jessica's three girls have been murdered. Devastated, Jessica files a lawsuit against the police and her town, claiming that over the course of 10 hours, she repeatedly begged the police to enforce her restraining order and bring her daughters home, but the police did not adequately respond. Hoping to prevent a similar tragedy from happening to the millions of domestic violence victims and their families in the U.S. who depend on restraining orders for protection, as we see in Home Truth, Jessica embarks on a legal quest to the Supreme Court and beyond, asking courts to determine if police have a duty to enforce restraining orders.

As Jessica’s pursuit of justice becomes her driving force, left behind is her only living child, her son Jessie. Only 13 years old when his younger half-sisters died, in the years after their murders, Jessie watched his mother struggle with the toll the tragedy took on her life. When Jessica was unable to provide a stable living environment, the distance between them grew and Jessie had to grow up quickly, finishing high school, working, and becoming a father himself at age 18. Now 30 years old, he too struggles with PTSD, as well as anxiety about his ability to protect his two young children and provide the stable life for them that he didn’t have. As Jessica’s legal journey finally achieves widespread national change and she becomes an acclaimed activist, she struggles to put her life and relationships back together, and heal herself.