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SFF’13 Movie Review: “ANITA”

January 28, 2013

anita“ANITA” is the feature documentary from Oscar winning filmmaker Frieda Lee Mock, “Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision”,  examines the legacy of Anita Hill twenty years after her attempt to report Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for sexual harassment, which sadly ended not in her favor. The movie depicts her early beginnings leading up to the tension rising days where she testifies in D.C. The movie does open with a very interesting voicemail coming from Ms. Hill’s office, from Clarence Thomas’ wife, apologizing.

Anita Hill accuses the Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of unwanted sexual advances during explosive Senate Hearings in 1991 and ignites a political firestorm about sexual harassment, race, power and politics that resonates 20 years later today. “ANITA” is a dramatic look at the consequences to a private citizen acting out of a civic duty to ‘speak truth to power.’ For the very first time on film Anita Hill speaks about her experience in the Senate Hearings, her impact on issues of sexual harassment, workplace rights for women and men, social justice and equality. The film is about the empowerment of girls and women, and men, through the extraordinary story of Hill herself.

The story of Anita Hill is nothing short of powerful, it’s inspiring. Her words, her feelings, feed hope into women everywhere, that is very clear in this film. The movie does give us a better understanding how Hill is, we don’t see much of her in the media, all we really know is that she takes host to many open forums, conventions, etc. about her respective voice and what she proudly advocates, women’s rights.

Hill’s family and friends are revealed closer to us in this film, a group that have stood by her decision from the very beginning to this day and you have to give a lot of credit to them, especially having the courage to step in front of the camera and speak, it’s something you have to admire for a lot of people who don’t usually speak in front of a camera. For a documentary you have to give up your day to day life so the cameras can follow you around.

My issues with the film are mild, but they bring up interesting questions, like what does VP Joe Biden feel about this? He was the head of Democratic committee at the hearings, would’ve been fascinating to see what he had to say 20+ years later, even if there was some archival footage from a few years back. Not to mention, and it’s a long shot, Clarence Thomas or even Thomas’ wife, who had the common sense to call Hill and apologize, if not Clarence, they should’ve at least seek out the wife. But, I’ll digress, that’s a lot to ask for, I know that, nevertheless this was a fine movie and an honest look into the person Anita Hill really is.

GRADE: A-

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