Audrie & Daisy
A documentary film about three cases of rape, that includes the stories of two American high school students, Audrie Pott and Daisy Coleman. At the time of the sexual assaults, Pott was 15 and Coleman was 14 years old. After the assaults, the victims and their families were subjected to abuse and cyberbullying.
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★★★★ review by Mikayla on Letterboxd
Has that sheriff been fired yet?
★★★★★ review by Smitty on Letterboxd
"You have no idea what it's like to be a girl."
★★★★½ review by Ryan James Quinn on Letterboxd
The idea that someone could be taken advantage of and assaulted, then mocked / bullied afterwards rather than receive support is disgusting. If a person broke into my house and robbed me I would not be questioned for having my curtains drawn too wide, exposing my belongings and making my home appealing to a thief. Even if I left my doors and windows unlocked, I would still be robbed illegally. This is not the case with all crimes.
Although the Daisy content has more runtime than the Audrie, the spector of Audries suicide loom over the near procedural elements of the film. These victims endure further violations, specifically online. No one is comfortable being falsely branded by their peers, but to be consistently harassed or mocked gives no space to heal from the original wounds - and it serves to create a mob mentality towards defending the perpetrators.
We live in a world where a silly mistake can be instantly broadcast and shared with the world. Herzog spent some time with the family of the "Porche Girl" in Lo and Behold: Reveries of a Connected World - a portion of the film dedicated to exposing the cruelty people exude online. The current season of South Park has a running theme of online trolling, with the motivation being simply a dark release from an otherwise "stable" person coupled with a desire to become "popular" within the online realm. This film puts the elements of online taunting and sharing with criminal acts - and shockingly the youth involved don't seem to see photographing a crime and posting it as wrong. It's a perfect storm of the internets and humanities dark side coming together.
In terms of the postings, there is a portion of the film discussing a video of Daisy that is deleted. Maybe I'm responding because of Making a Murderer, but I found it very odd that the officer questioning the suspect gives him back his phone to "turn it off". The kid plays around with the screen way more than is required for a power down. Maybe it's ignorance, maybe it's part of the townspeoples insistence to keep these boys free of guilt -- but it looks like the kid deletes the video right on screen. And the fact that this isn't a crazy idea, that this makes total sense to me is the saddest part. A sherif who drives two young girls to school argues against the guilt of the boys involved, boys that admitted to the crime.
Circling back to Audrie, it's further upsetting that the identity of the boys is kept private. These girls are thrust into the awareness of so many people because of the malice of the boys, yet they are somehow afforded privacy. Their crimes create a lifetime of trauma to face for the victims, yet they are somehow protected from society knowing the truth of thier actions. The film shows support groups for victims, but I wonder what it will take to change this imbalance in our societies treatment and attitudes of these crimes.
★★★★½ review by Ryan James Quinn on Letterboxd
I didn’t actually watch the movie again, but it has been on my mind over the past few weeks and again after reading an article today. When the recording of Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault behaviors was dismissed as simply how guys talk I immediately thought of this film. The public reaction is a perfect example of a significant problem with our society that creates an environment for sexual assault to be excused.
There are some that dismiss his comments. The disgusting excuse of “locker room talk” implies simply that men have permission to brag about sexual assault, as long as it’s in a locker room setting. It baffles me that there is a time and place that this behavior is excused. There are others that do not condone his comments. Yet already in our news cycle this is no longer discussed, and already people have diverted their attention elsewhere. This is the state of bystanders, witnesses, and people aware of assault - regardless of their opinions they soften their stance and allow for the guilty parties to get away with it.
Today I read an article about Baylor University. Apparently there have been many sexual assaults since 2011 that were covered up. This is terrible, but even the article in The Wall Street Journal takes time to mention the national ranking of the football team, how much money was spent on their new stadium, and that the coach is eager to move past this and coach again (apparently he knew of assaults and didn’t take action). This comes just after a recent decision in a lawsuit concerning retaliation towards a “whistleblower” about the football programs lack of action against sexual assault. Read any article about an athletes illegal activity, and that article will likely detail their on field accomplishments - why does this information get reported, why does it matter. This goes beyond articles, as Brock Turner was allowed to enter sports and academic achievements as a basis of “good behavior” before sentencing to lower his jail sentence.
“We” value sports players being able to play over the safety of women. “We” give permission for boys to be boys, men to be men, as an excuse for abusive talk and behavior. “We” allow for the victims to be shamed. “We” do all this because as widely reported as these occurrences are, guilty parties of sexual assault are still celebrated or excused rather than properly held accountable - and until there is a significant shift in our societies acceptance of sexual assault we are all partially responsible regardless of our disdain around it.
★★★★ review by amyjackson on Letterboxd
Absolutely rage inducing. Would have appreciated it being a bit longer and going into more depth. Fav part was when the teenage rapist asked what he'd learned about girls from the process of the documentary "they gossip a lot while guys are kind of chill and laid back" THERE IS NOTHING CHILL about what u did u prick.
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