Doublespeak @ Sundance

Feminism is a word which has had an up and down history. At times it is something despised or ridiculed while others it is applauded. I argue that until there is complete equality between the sexes and every human that feminism is a necessity.

A film like young director Hazel McKibbin’s looks at something that happens way too often through a feminist lens. Shines a light on something which happens to pretty much every woman at some point and in some degree in her life. Then after being sexually harassed they also have to deal with the blow back. Treated like they are the problem and are causing trouble.

After Emma (Angela Wong Carbone) reports her superior at work, Peter. During a meeting with the company’s management where they claim that during their investigation nothing could really be proven and while his behaviour was inappropriate it was not illegal. There will be no repercussions for Peter. They just give her a flimsy promise that she will no longer have to work under Peter on a project..if at all possible. Emma is obviously upset, but just goes outside, composes herself and then goes on with her work.

Serious conversation needs to take place about workplace harassment against women. Or harassment based on gender in any arena. It is way too frequent. A film like this will hopefully open some eyes and have that dialogue happen. Change has to come.

Adding an additional layer of realism, the film’s story is based on a personal experience of the director/screenwriter McKibbin’s. Some of what happens at the meeting with management is verbatim what was said to McKibbin when she brought a sexual harrassment charge against a superior. Makes it all the more affecting.

The short 10 minute film had its festival premiere at Sundance 2021 in the Shorts Program. Previously it was Vimeo Staff Pick Best of the Month: July 2020.

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