Episode 167: The Love & Strength of a Mother with Cindy Shank & Rudy Valdez from HBO's, The Sentence


This week on the show, Paulina sits down with Rudy Valdez and Cindy Shank- the brother and sister behind the new HBO documentary, The Sentence. The Sentence explores the devastating consequences of mass incarceration and mandatory minimum drug sentencing through the story of Cindy, a mother of three young children and told through the eyes and camera of her younger brother, Rudy Valdez.

HBO’s The Sentence is now on demand on HBO GO, HBO NOW! Make sure to check your local listings. Also, follow the movie on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.

Our Conversation with Rudy Valdez

(7:58): What part of Mexico is your family from?

(9:00): What got you into filmmaking?

(10:50): How did this experience change/affect your family? How did it change you?

(13:05): How are your nieces now?

(14:50): You fought many years for the freedom of your sister. I imagine that you had moments of weakness ... how did you overcome them?

(16:56): How did the family react to the idea of filming a documentary and exposing the family situation to the public?

Our Conversation with Cindy Shank

(23:10): Tell us a little bit about what happened leading up to your prison sentence (so listeners get a better background of what happened)

(24:00): What did it feel like to be away from your family for so long- what was going through your mind when they came to your door?

(25:10): The importance of the father

(26:30): How did it change you? How did you come out of it?

(27:50): The issue on shame

(28:50): Describe the feeling of finding out you had been granted early release.

(29:35): How did this whole experience affect your daughters? Any tips to pass along to our mothers/mothers who may be going through the same/similar experience or know someone who is?

(31:20): The ultimate bond between a parent and a child

(31:55): How did you acclimate to life outside? Did you find many things had changed? Any issues with new technology?

(33:45): Favorite memory since your release?


Mr. Quentin Bacon - @quentinbaconphoto