Monday, March 31, 2014

'Anita' Tissue


  Had a busy weekend of events, but am so glad we managed to squeeze in "Anita," Freida Lee Mock's superb documentary about Anita Hill and the fallout of her Senate testimony during Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation process. As I prayed it would, the film included the voicemail message from Thomas' delusional wife, Ginni, in which she asks Hill to consider apologizing to her hubby for what Hill did to him. ("We really just want to know why you did what you did.") This would turn out to be the film's only moment of comic relief. But I thought it was fitting that it opened with that plea for redress , because I couldn't help but think that a 20-plus-years-after-the-fact apology is indeed owed to someone here -- namely Hill herself, from everyone on the Senate Judiciary Committee who put her on trial when all she was doing was truthfully answering questions -- under oath, mind you. As you may recall, Joe Biden is simply infuriating in his role as Judas, who didn't even have the balls to allow Thomas' other accusers to testify. Although I was outraged back in 1991, I found myself becoming extremely emotional throughout much of this film when I looked back at how young and vulnerable Hill was then, watching her elderly parents and siblings come to her side on Capitol Hill. (Hill is the youngest of 13 kids.) You will be deeply moved by what Hill has to say about her mother. Hill remains confident that we have come a long way since 1991, but I remain skeptical, with what is going on in the armed forces and the rash of teenage sexual attacks where the girls continue to be the ones who are blamed weighing heavily on my mind. (Social media has revealed the dark side of this ongoing societal problem.) "Anita" isn't something that demands to be seen on the big screen. But it's something you do not want to miss.

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