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Jody Hammond: Sharing A Story Of Love, Faith & Forgiveness


She gave up a privileged life in Beverly Hills for a Baja Prison. For more than 30 years, Mother Antonia, or “La Mama” as she’s known, has ministered to prisoners in Tijuana’s infamous and dangerous La Mesa Penitentiary.

Jody Hammond, an award-winning television reporter and producer, tells Mother Antonia’s remarkable story in La Mama: An American Nun’s Life in a Mexican Prison. Narrated by actress Susan Sarandon, Hammond’s fourth documentary takes you inside the prison cell where La Mama has lived since 1977. Fluent in Spanish, and a longtime reporter on border issues, Hammond won unprecedented access. She recounts how the beloved nun befriended inmates and guards alike, broke up violent prison riots, persuaded doctors and nurses to donate their time, and organized truckloads of supplies.

“Mother Antonia is a powerful combination of Beverly Hills class, Tijuana street-smarts, and undying commitment to her flock, Mexico’s ‘poorest of the poor,’” says Hammond. “In covering the border region for more than 30 years, she is the most charismatic person I’ve ever encountered.”

Hammond’s documentary, to be screened March 12 at the San Diego Latino Film Festival, is the inspiring story of how love, faith, and forgiveness can transform lives, perhaps none so much as La Mama herself. She is serving a “life sentence” in a Mexican prison — by choice. (www.lamamathemovie.com)    ANDREA NAVERSEN


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