Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering have worked together to make The Invisible War and The Hunting Ground, documentaries about sexual assault in the military and on college campuses, respectively. They are now re-teaming to make a documentary about sexual assault in Hollywood, focusing not only on a predator like Harvey Weinstein, but also the whole system that enables him and people like him. (Ironically, The Weinstein Company was a co-distributor of The Hunting Ground.) Together, these three films will make the most depressing trilogy of all time. And Dick also directed Twist of Faith, the 2005 documentary about the Catholic priest sex scandal, so all told this is the living document of why we don’t deserve anything and should just cede the planet to orcas already.
But this will not be the first documentary to tackle sex abuse in Hollywood. Amy Berg previously made An Open Secret, tackling pedophilia in the industry. The film got a lot of buzz because allegations were made against Bryan Singer around the same time, though the film had to be recut after the allegations were withdrawn. Everyone was waiting on tenterhooks for this doc to come out, but the theatrical release was extremely limited, four cities only and just for a few weeks, and then it disappeared. There has never been a DVD release, or even a streaming deal. However, in the wake of the Weinstein scandal, it was released on Vimeo. There still isn’t a digital distribution deal. (Lainey: Corey Feldman has been tweeting a lot recently about the pedophilia cover-up in Hollywood. And, curiously, he was arrested the other day while on tour. Coincidence or conspiracy?)
Do we think this new doc from Dick and Ziering will fare any better? Like them, Amy Berg is an Oscar-nominated documentarian (Deliver Us From Evil, about, you guessed it, the Catholic priest scandal). And like them, she got a lot of buzz thanks to real-world events drawing attention to her subject. But her movie has been, effectively, buried. Do we think things have changed that much? This will be a good litmus test. If this doc can break through in a way that An Open Secret couldn’t, perhaps then we can properly judge how much is or isn’t changing.