In 2004, Tommy Davis filmed four men for 120 miles as they left their families in Mexico and tried to cross the border into the U.S. in his documentary “Mojados: Through the Night.” Now in his latest project, “Every F—ing Day of My Life,” he follows an Oregon mother, Wendy Maldonado, as she spends time with her family before she goes to jail for murdering her abusive husband.
How did you find Wendy?
My producer and I were looking to make a film that would kind of explore what a person or a family does before they go to jail — what do they do with their time. That was the starting point. I found Wendy’s story and that night I was having dinner with her family.
What is one thing that really struck you while doing the film?
I think the biggest thing was just Wendy. By being sentenced to 10 years in prison, she felt in some way as though she had been given a reprieve. Now her kids would be safe. You’d think hanging out with her family and filming you’d find them crying the whole time, but in reality, my editor, Luis de Leon, and I noticed that they were acting loose and free because to them, it was as though they finally felt safe and because they were not living in fear.
Do you think that this will draw attention to her case?
There is no law really set up to help people in her situation. She was beaten for over 15 years and when she fought back she gets convicted for domestic violence.