Monday, February 4, 2019

Sundance with Arielle: Untouchable

It’s my pleasure to introduce Arielle, my wife and an eager new contributor who is covering the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City this year, along with a few Sundance selections.

Directed by Ursula Macfarlane
Documentary Premieres

“Untouchable,” the documentary film about film mogul and alleged sexual molester, Harvey Weinstein, was disturbing and disheartening, making it all the more necessary and relevant. The film tells the story of Weinstein’s rise to notoriety and the presence he had when he got there, with former colleagues, employees, and clients voicing the concerns they had along the way. A tyrant who took what he wanted when he wanted it, Weinstein threatened to destroy careers if someone refused to do what he asked, no matter how inappropriate or repulsive.

The brave men and women who spoke out in this film, and the dozens who came forward off-camera, should be praised for outing a man who behaved in abominable ways. Many of them shared that they did not speak up sooner because they were afraid of Weinstein, his physical size and power, and the enormous sphere of influence he had in Hollywood. What puzzled me, however, was that there were individuals in the film who expressed being in uncomfortable situations with Weinstein more than once, and while I would never say that any of those experiences are the fault of the victim, I do wonder how they could make themselves susceptible to him yet again. Perhaps they wanted to give Weinstein the benefit of the doubt; perhaps his charm made them believe he was different the second time around; perhaps they were naïve and hopeful. In any case, I’m grateful they had the courage to come forward and share their experiences so that Weinstein could finally be held accountable for his behavior.

I hope that we as a society can learn from the example Weinstein set for us: when we see a monster in power who abuses their position and the people around them, perhaps we should put ourselves at risk in order to push them from their pedestals to protect the greater good and those who cannot stand up against them.


No comments: