The first in-depth documentary about Dorothy Day

This thoughtful labor of love was written, directed and produced by Claudia Larson and premiered at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival.

Film Synopsis

Dorothy Day: Don’t Call Me A Saint tells the story of the New York writer and Catholic anarchist who at the height of the Depression unwittingly created what would become a worldwide peace and social justice movement. The Catholic Worker persists to this day in hundreds of houses of hospitality and soup kitchens across the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Canada, Mexico and Africa. Their tenet is based on doing works of mercy and living in voluntary poverty with no attachments to Church or State.

And although the Vatican is currently considering Dorothy Day for canonization, she is no ordinary saint. Caught up in the Bohemian whirl of 1917 Greenwich Village, Dorothy wrote for radical papers, associated with known Communists, attempted suicide, had an illegal abortion, a doomed common-law marriage and a child out of wedlock. The birth of her only child led to her religious conversion.

The film also takes us through Dorothy's protests of the 1950's air-raid drills, her last arrest in 1973 with the United Farm Workers and to her death on November 29, 1980 at the home she founded for homeless women on New York’s Bowery.

Interviews with Dorothy, her daughter, and close intimates coupled with never-before-seen family photographs, personal writings and powerful archival footage paint a dramatic picture of Dorothy’s most difficult journey to create and live out a vision of a more just world.

Tribeca Film Festival 2006 Hot Tickets - Dorothy Day: Don’t Call Me a Saint is a "don't miss."
- Special Green Issue,
Vanity Fair

“Day was a strong-willed proponent for social justice, and led an unconventional social life. After converting to Catholicism, she changed much of her personal behavior, but did not stop her public fights for equality.”
- Perry Seibert,
The New York Times

“Claudia Larson became a filmmaker to tell Day’s story, and has ably compressed into 57 minutes Day’s extraordinary 83-year life.”
- Ronnie Scheib,

Claudia Larson - Filmmaker

Since childhood, Claudia has lived an eclectic life from a newspaper route on the streets of Hollywood to working with Andy Warhol to a career in television commercials. However, taking pictures is her passion. Whether the photo is of Fidel Castro or children at play, she knows one good picture tells the whole story. Then, one fateful day, Dorothy Day's story landed in her lap. Larson would spend the next 14 years learning how to turn Dorothy's remarkable life into a documentary. She hopes, too, that her own unexpected journey might act as encouragement for others to just begin as Dorothy would advise.

Stay tuned for the upcoming book...

Dorothy Day Gallery

(Photographs courtesy of Marquette University, Corbis #3, Vivian Cherry #8, and top photograph, Jon Erikson)

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