Saturday, May 18, 2024

Victim/Suspect (2023) movie review and synopsis.

“Victim/Suspect” has a guiding light for the truth in the form of rising journalist Rachel de Leon, who works at the Center for Investigative Journalism. Alongside the chilling accounts detailed here is de Leon’s story of learning more about these shared experiences and doing her own investigation into each case for an article she’s been working on for years. De Leon pieces together the story of the victim’s assault and then compares it to how the police handled him before closing the case with the victim’s arrest. It reveals glaring information gaps and oversights by those who are supposed to protect and serve everyone. By questioning their work, de Leon embodies one of the lifeblood of documentary, the vigilant need for accountability.

A pattern emerges in these stories: the police, if they are skeptical of a potential sexual assault victim, will use questionable interrogation tactics against them. They will ask questions repeatedly; they will keep the accuser in the room for hours to make the victim just want to leave. In order to see how the accuser reacts, police officers will sometimes choose to lie that they have video surveillance footage of the location where the alleged incident occurred. It’s all about submission, control and power. It is not about justice.

Meanwhile, as in the cases disclosed here, the alleged attackers will hardly be interviewed, if at all. The reasons for this may be more intentional, such as protecting a local figure, or more for bias that helps mitigate investigation and documentation time. In Niki and Emma’s case, they did prison. All the women interviewed here had their own experiences with the police that culminated in the headlines of false accusations.

The film is a document of excellent journalism, but unfortunately it is told in a muddled, distracting way. Schwartzman loosely frames the documentary about de Leon working for years in this article, but it can be confusing when the scenes documented take place in the film’s timeline. There are no visual indicators of the time period as the voiceover switches between past and present tense regarding the creation of the article. Along with creating an unnecessarily disorienting viewing experience, it also risks giving up moments that couldn’t have been staged, like looking across a driveway as de Leon walks up to the front door of a previously unseen police figure. . had returned her calls. .

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HomeReviewsVictim/Suspect (2023) movie review and synopsis.

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