Films by Lidia Szajko

Girl Trouble

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. Trying to change their lives, the girls work part-time at the innovative Center for Young Women's Development, an organization run by young women who have faced similar challenges. As the girls confront seemingly impossible problems and pivotal decisions, the Center's 22-year-old executive director, Lateefah Simon, is often their only support and mentor. Bay Area filmmakers Lexi Leban and Lidia Szajko document the girls' remarkable successes and heartbreaking setbacks over a four-year period - their daily struggles with poverty, violence, public defenders and homelessness - and expose a system that fails to end the cycle of incarceration. The film is available in both a 74 minute and a 57 minute version.