With the advent of #MeToo, a path towards the movie industry’s redemption appears to have been found, but it promises to bring many tears and reveal numerous scars before a redistribution of economic power occurs.
The stories of sexual abuse and harassment, of demeaning women in the industry, continue to stun and shock. And the documentary The Reckoning: Hollywood’s Worst Kept Secrets by Canadian film director Barry Avrich may be either cathartic or upsetting.
But the film, shown at the Assembly Hall at Lakeshore Campus, Monday night, certainly calls to task from those who abuse their authority and seeks answers from them.
The film is a documentary which includes interviews of woman who were affected by either the actions of Harvey Weinstein or of other well-known men, like Woody Allen and Louis C.K., who have been accused of inappropriate behaviour.
Alongside director Avrich, the film was produced by Melissa Hood, and edited by Michèle Hozer.
“As a woman, the real issue would be power imbalance in every industry,” said Hozer, an Emmy-nominated and Gemini-winning filmmaker with two films on the Oscar shortlist. She has been working as a filmmaker and editor since 1987, working on more than 50 documentaries.
“With three boys at home, I feel as if the film should help with bringing up boys in the #MeToo world,” she said.
Avrich has directed more than 45 documentaries, films and television productions. Some of his pieces include provocative exposes of
Hollywood’s power brokers such as Lew Wasserman (The Last Mogul) and Harvey Weinstein (Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project).
He has also released another film on the sexual scandals that have plagued the entertainment business known as Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz.
Melissa Ford, a Canadian actress based in L.A, said she has a personal connection to this issue, not just only as a woman, but as an actress.
“I have seen toxic environments in the industry and wanted to help make a change by taking part in this documentary,” she said.
Zack Pinto-Lobo, a Film and Production student, said the film was a moving and eye-opening experience for him. He said he felt disgusted to know this was happening and was saddened that it happens consistently.
Hannah Horrocks, another Film and Production student, said she was enlightened by the film.
She said the film also made her want to do more research on this issue and had demonstrated a strong message towards both men and women on how to act.
The production team said what they would like people to take away from this film is that there’s more work that needs to be done in gender equality.
“Women should be seen as equals and not as sexual objects,” Hozer said.