By Kristine Pascaul, Dec. 13, 2022
Originally written as a nonfiction book based on The New York Times investigation that ignited the #MeToo movement, Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan star in the film, “She Said,” directed by Maria Schrader.
The #MeToo movement went viral in 2017 and inspired many women to come forward about their abusers. The most prominent abuser, film producer, Harvey Weinstein, currently awaits a verdict in his second sexual assault trial in Los Angeles. He is already serving a 23-year sentence but could face 60 more years if convicted.
Based on real life situations, the film follows two NYT journalists, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, as they are tasked with taking down famous film producer and serial predator Weinstein for the sexual assault accusations and cases that have been made against him. These cases date all the way back to the 1990s, with women working for him from across the world, experiencing similar types of abuse from Weinstein.
This powerful film intertwines the lives of Kantor and Twohey as they become heavily consumed by this case, whilst also balancing their personal lives. Kantor struggles as she is constantly working but has two young girls at home, while Twohey is faced with postpartum depression. These two female journalists are incredibly inspiring as they work together to take down Weinstein, who should have been imprisoned decades ago. Dating back to the 90s, several women did attempt to come forward about what happened, but Weinstein was quick to shut them down. He threatened to take their jobs away and make sure that they would never be employed in the field again.
The reporting of Kantor and Twohey helped many women come forward about their experiences working with Weinstein. Initially, these survivors are afraid of coming forward, due to the immense money and power that Weinstein held. These women knew that if they came forward, there would be a potential for dire consequences to follow. Some women who did previously come forward explained how they were blacklisted from Hollywood and were unable to get a job in the field due to Weinstein preventing it. Many of these women were also forced to sign settlements to agree that they would not say anything about what had happened, making it difficult for Kantor and Twohey to write a story exposing Weinstein.
This film speaks volumes about the difficulties of coming forward after experiencing sexual assault. People are quick to ask, “Why didn’t she say anything after it happened,” rather than consoling the victim or survivor. This movie teaches journalists, or anyone for that matter, to approach the survivor with caution, and to never blame them, but console them. “She Said” points out that men are often quick to silence women and call them liars for coming forward about what happened to them. Money often influences someone of a higher power to silence a victim. Coming forward is a difficult thing to do and being silenced is extremely discouraging. After #MeToo gained attention, many women were able to come forward about sexual assault, and hopefully this movie can inspire more women to speak up for themselves.
This movie places emphasis on the power that female journalists hold, and how many men in the workplace feel as if they are viewed on a pedestal and should be treated as so. It is infuriating that Weinstein got away with what he did for so long, and even worse that there are more people out there like him. Kantor and Twohey are incredible women and journalists for helping so many women come forward and finally getting the closure and healing that they needed.
The movie was released in theaters on Nov.18.
Feature image courtesy of Lauren Wong
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