K.C. Bailey created U.S. nuclear weapons policy, farmed limes in Hawaii and is a published poet and photographer, but her latest adventure may be the most ambitious.
Bailey financed and wrote her first feature film, “Revenge in Kind,” about a woman who refuses to be a sex abuse victim. It began streaming in December.
Growing up in Lakewood, she often walked by herself to Lakewood Theater to watch Saturday matinees. She attended Lakewood Elementary and J.L. Long Middle School, where Paul Harris was the principal, before moving to Indiana. She still has her Lakewood Elementary graduation program, which included a rhyming “Class Prophecy” for each graduate. Bailey’s reads, “She’ll be a perfect woman, nobly planned – To warn, to comfort, and to command.” Command was the only underlined word in any of the prophecies.
The rhyme was indeed prophetic. Whether at the State Department or on a movie set, she often found herself in control. Bailey was the Assistant Secretary for Arms Control and Non-proliferation in the State Department and worked in nuclear science laboratories before running a Hawaiian lime farm with her husband, Bob, a nuclear scientist. “I needed to completely decompress from Washington,” she says.
The farming life allowed her to focus on her creative side. She wrote fiction and poetry, painted and took pictures. The idea of writing a script came to her one night while she watched a movie with her husband. The movie depicted a woman being abused without resistance, and Bailey left the room upset at what she saw. When she returned, she asked her husband, “Why does the film industry never show a woman standing up and fighting back?”
“Why don’t you?” he responded.
Her husband died in 2012, and Bailey, wracked with grief, moved back to Dallas to be close to family. Writing the script for “Revenge in Kind” helped bring her out of mourning.
Bailey financed the film with her life savings, and assembled a cast and crew of mostly Texans. “I wanted to do something exciting before I get so elderly that I can no longer do it,” she says.
Bailey’s eye as a photographer came in handy as she scouted locations for the movie and directed the editing of the film. “I felt that I had a vision. It was clear in my head and I wanted it to be my film. I envisioned a scene, how it would play out and from what angle.”
Shot in and around Dallas, it tells the story of a detective and a psychologist who try to stop an abusive villain. If you keep an eye out, you will see White Rock Lake and the Corinthian Sailing Club in several shots.
Though she had never made a film before, she hired talented staff. “Putting together and producing a movie is essentially a managerial job, so I knew exactly what I was doing,” she says. She wants the film to be intellectually stimulating and a discussion starter. “I wanted to have the victimizer turn out to be a former victim.”
Sexual abuse remains close to Bailey’s heart. A close acquaintance was raped. Bailey fought off two would-be attackers in her lifetime as well.
The film is especially topical, with sexual abuse scandals making headlines every day. “The #metoo movement has released a pent up force in society,” she says.
“Sexual abuse has been around forever and I consider it abominable, which is why I wanted to make a film about it. But it is a surprise to me that it is less tolerable today than it was a few months ago, and that is good,” she writes on the movie’s website. “Let’s hope that the trend continues.”
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