Audrie & Daisy Movie Review
The Netflix documentary Audrie & Daisy is a somber, sobering and powerful look at the after-effects of sexual assault through the eyes of two teenage girls—one of whom who can no longer tell her own story.
Directed by Bonnie Cohen and Jon Shenk, the documentary focuses on two girls who never knew each other, but who are connected by similar circumstances. Audrie Pott got drunk, passed out and was filmed naked and sexually molested; a week later, she committed suicide. Daisy Coleman also got drunk, passed out and was filmed being raped by one of her brother’s best friends. Her life spiraled out of control as her small town came to the defense of the accused.
Audrie & Daisy is a fantastically made documentary about victim blaming and social media bullying. It opens the door for conversation by refusing to indulge in taking sides, the filmmakers opting to let the story speak for itself (that’s not to say that Cohen and Shenk don’t have an objective, however, but they refrain from taking an impassioned approach to the subject matter). The doc features interviews with the victims, their families, their friends and even, most notably, the accused.
Oh, and with a sheriff who probably should have hired a publicist before agreeing to be filmed for the documentary.
Seriously, the dude is the epitome of a victim blamer and a prime example of what many sexual assault victims claim is the problem with police forces across the country—that they are more prone to empathize with the otherwise respected accused and lay fault for the women for putting themselves in a bad situation in the first place.
After all, boys will be boys, right???
Audie & Daisy perhaps doesn’t evoke as much anger or frustration as last year’s The Hunting Ground, but it’s still a powerful, intimate look at what two girls went through. But this one’s lasting impact is its showcase of what happens afterward… at how a specific incident doesn’t just happen one night, but can divide communities, destroy families and ruin lives… with potentially tragic consequences.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.