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Joshua Safran

Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid


The event is co-sponsored by SHALVA and the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.


When Joshua Safran was four years old, his mother--determined to protect him from the threats of nuclear war and Ronald Reagan--left San Francisco and took him on the road. Joshua spent his early years in a series of makeshift homes, including shacks, teepees, and buses. His colorful youth darkened, however, when his mother married an alcoholic and abusive guerrilla poet. When he finally reentered society and began to attend school, he found that the years living in the wilderness and discussing Marxism had not prepared him for the real world, and he was bullied and beaten. Free Spiritis a coming-of-age story, a tale of overcoming adversity, and a journey of the spirit.


View the Free Spirit book trailer HERE. This short film was directed by Yoav Potash, who featured Safran in his 2011 Sundance Film Festival documentary "Crime After Frime." Potash and Safran collaborated to write the short screenplay for this trailer, adapted from Safran's memoir. 


Joshua Safran is an attorney, writer, speaker, and occasional rabbi, and was featured in the award-winning documentary Crime After Crime, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and had its television debut as part of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)'s Documentary Film Club. He is a champion for women's rights and an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and the wrongfully imprisoned. He lives in Oakland, California. 

Event date: 
Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N. Clark St.
60640-2122 Chicago
Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid By Joshua Safran Cover Image
ISBN: 9781401324605
Published: Hachette Books - September 10th, 2013

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