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Wilhemina's War

For 5 years, Emmy-winning director June Cross documented how the South has become the epicenter of HIV in the United States. In WILHEMINAS WAR she tells the story of a matriarch and her granddaughter who try to bring AIDS awareness to rural South Carolina, and discover the cruel consequences.

  • June V Cross
    The Old Man and The Storm (Frontline, 2009), This Far By Faith (2003), Two Nations of Black America (1999), Secret Daughter (1996), Confessions of Rosa Lee (1995), Battle for Haiti (1994) Ashes of the Cold War (1993), A Kid Kills (1992)
  • June Cross
  • June Cross
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 2 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 30, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    650,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - June V Cross

June Cross is a writer and documentary producer who covers the intersection of poverty, race and politics in the United States. She is a tenured professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York, where she founded a program in journalistic documentary. Her latest film, “Wilhemina’s War,” about a South Carolina grandmother fighting for access to health care for her family, aired on PBS’ Independent Lens in February 2016. She is perhaps best known for a book and documentary about her own family, “Secret Daughter: the Story of a Mixed Race Child and the Mother who Gave Her Away, which aired on Frontline in 1996.” She was an Executive Producer of the six-hour PBS series, "This Far by Faith." Cross also produced “The Old Man and the Storm,” which aired on PBS’ Frontline in 2009. She has worked for CBS News and PBS’ NewsHour. She was raised in Atlantic City, N.J., where she began her journalistic career at The Press. She lives in New York, with the jazz drummer Mike Clark.

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Director Statement

People think HIV is over in the United States. It's not. the epidemic has shifted populations and geography, so it's now a Southern, predominantly African-American disease. the statistics have changed since I started this film, but the populations most impacted haven't: HIV is now a marker for the dispossessed