February 13, 2021 – This movie provides a different perspective on the issue of rape. It isn't so much about the rape itself as the aftermath of it, specifically the difficulty involved in getting the authorities to do anything at all, such as collecting evidence.
This film doesn't even get into the issue of taking measures to prevent a pregnancy from a rape, which is a whole other serious matter in itself. It also doesn't deal with the issue of thousands of rape kits being lost or discarded. This film deals with the fact that rape is not a high priority in the criminal justice system.
I kept thinking this film was going in one direction, but it kept defying my expectations. It starts out with a drunk white man, Evan (played by Will Brill of “The Eyes of My Mother”) asking a beautiful black woman, Renesha (Brittany S. Hall of “Nappily Ever After”) for her phone number at a bar.
After the two awkwardly run into each other again, Evan finally calls her for a date, and you think this is going to turn out badly. A beautiful black executive hooking up with a kind of iffy looking guy who works in a tattoo parlor — how is this going to work out?
I kept thinking Evan was going to be a drug addict, or an alcoholic, or abusive, or there was going to be serious problems with Renesha, but all those anxieties turned out to be baseless.
One night, Renesha goes out with her girlfriend, Amber (Gail Bean of “The Belko Experiment”) for a girl's night out and they end up being hit on by two guys celebrating the sale of their software business. Amber is fine with this, but Renesha resists. Suffering the effects of what appears to be a date rape drug, she finds herself nearly immobilized in bed with one of the men. She tries to leave, but is very disoriented.
When she gets back to Evan, he insists on getting her to a doctor to be examined for evidence of rape, but getting a so called “rape kit” turns out to be an ordeal as they drive from doctor's offices to hospitals searching for someone to collect the rape evidence.
The mental strain from the rape is compounded by the strain of dealing with police and hospitals. This causes a strain on the relationship between Renesha and Evan. The impact on Renesha's emotional state is evident. She is not the person she was before.
All this pain and unhappiness happens even though Renesha, Evan, Amber, the police and people at the doctor's offices and hospitals are all trying to do the right thing. The criminal justice system, doctors and hospitals are simply not set up to do an effective job, particularly in the case of a black woman trying to get justice. It is not a priority.
The age old problems still exist. Women are not believed. Women are blamed. Crimes against black women are not a high priority (this particular incident is set in Texas).
The actors are all quite effective and convincing in this film, particularly Brittany S. Hall and Will Brill. If you go into this film looking for the standard kind of Hollywood payoff, or some kind of satisfying resolution, you will be disappointed. It just sort of fades to black at the end ... This film rates a B.
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