In Harm’s Way

A haunting memoir that explores how the experiences of adulthood both defy and reinforce the lessons of childhood. Prompted by her adult experience as a random victim of sexual assault, the filmmaker revisits childhood’s fragile myths to examine a belief system gone awry. Utilizing images from a generation’s collective past, In Harm’s Way questions assumptions instilled in children growing up in the late 1950s. As evocative as it is cautionary, the film thoughtfully juxtaposes the filmmaker’s formative experiences of the world with the legacy of anonymous violence.

27 minutes | 1996



Best of Festival, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Jury Award, New York Expo of Short Film & Video
Best of Festival, Louisville Film and Video Festival
Best of Festival, Utah Short Film and Video Festival
Silver Award, IDA Awards
Best Documentary, New Frontiers Film Festival, Ottawa
Jurors’ Citation, Black Maria Film and Video Festival
Isabella Liddell Art Award, Ann Arbor Film Festival
Award of Merit, Sinking Creek Film/Video Festival
Certificate of Merit, Chicago International Film Festival
Audience Award, Imagefest

Selected Screenings

Doc Fortnight, NY MOMA
Margaret Mead Film Festival
Music Box Theatre, Beverly Hills, 1-week commercial run
International Short Film Festival, Vila do Conde, Portgual
Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia
St. Petersburg International Film Festival, Russia
Mediawave Festival of Visual Arts, Gyor, Hungary
International Festival of Women’s Cinema, London
Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema
Mill Valley Film Festival
International Public Television (INPUT) Conference, Stuttgart
Boston International Festival of Women’s Cinema
Arizona Film Festival
Los Angeles Independent Film Festival
Film Arts Festival, San Francisco
Denver International Film Festival
Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival
St. Louis Film Festival
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Pacific Film Archive
Dallas Video Festival
Breckenridge Festival of Film
Three Rivers Film Festival, Pittsburgh



Independent Lens, PBS national series
Image Union, Chicago PBS
Independent View, San Francisco PBS
video I, San Jose PBS
Bay TV, San Francisco
Through the Lens, Philadelphia PBS
Territory, Texas PBS stations
Independent Eye, Maryland PBS


Press Quotes

… a remarkably fused transition from serenity to savagery that reminds us that a well-crafted short can register more effectively than a full-length movie….” – The Philadelphia Inquirer

“… a multi-layered approach to a complex topic…” – DOX Film Magazine

“… a poignant film that comes off as both highly personal and coldly detached…” – Palo Alto Weekly


International Documentary (Timothy J. Lyons)
Austin American-Statesman (Alison Macor)
Austin Chronicle (Anne S. Lewis)
Palo Alto Weekly (Allen Clapp)

Director’s Statement

Director’s Statement

As a documentary filmmaker, I have been drawn to the stories and experiences of others. This personal film represents a major departure from my other work in both form and content. The act of random violence that is foundational to the narrative occurred in 1985. Seven years after this incident, I began work on what became In Harm’s Way. I was frustrated by reportage about sexual assault that focused primarily on the perpetrator. Who was he? Did he get caught? As a survivor, I wanted to explore the shift in my worldview that occurred in the wake of this incident. In Harm’s Way challenges a belief system predicated on a false notion of causality. 

For a first-person narrative to resonate beyond the singularity of the story, it must provide points of intersection with the viewer’s experience regardless of gender, race, and age. The opening line of narration provides an inclusive entry point: “For some of us, there is an event in our lives after which nothing will ever be the same…”



Producer, Director, Editor – Jan Krawitz
Cinematographers – Thomas Ott, Ferne Pearlstein, Jan Krawitz, Chris Emmanouildes
Narration Sound Recording – John Haptas

Western States Regional Fellowship
Films Arts Foundation
Nu Lambda Trust
Arts Council of Santa Clara County
The Donnet Fund
Marilyn Yalom Research Fund
Stanford University Research Incentive Funds



For DVD purchase, use the Paypal link or send a check/money order for $23.99 (includes $4.00 postage/handling) payable to Jan Krawitz.

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All films, videos, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs are protected by United States copyright law. Duplication, reproduction, alteration, subleasing, television (broadcast, cable or close circuit) or commercial use (i.e., charging admission) is strictly prohibited without written consent from Jan Krawitz.


Jan Krawitz is available for speaking engagements with her films at conferences and universities. She also conducts master classes and presents public talks about documentary film as a Visiting Filmmaker.

Jan Krawitz
Department of Art & Art History, 355 Roth Way
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-2018