The timing of this movies arrival to my inbox was spot on. A horrific, but comparatively much less intrusive situation involving my wife and some of her coworkers has literally just been resolved - and since happening, has spurred more than a few conversations with friends. The topic? Sexual harassment and culture in the workplace. Of course, as one could expect, these always seem to spin off into arguments involving the recent scandals within the film industry. To write it's an infuriating topic is an understatement of biblical proportions. Keeping that in mind, it was tough to watch and write about this film without more than small amount of personal feelings. This may not be a bad thing, since the whole point of a film is to elicit emotional responses - but I just thought I'd make my mental state quite clear for anyone reading.
"Shatter the Silence" is no mystery or plot-heavy film - the intentions of the movie are clearly marked, as is the content. Two real questions here - why and when? Why are things still the way they are and when, oh when, will things truly change? Regarding the sexual aspects and conversations touched on in this film... again, why? Why in this day and age are we still having these conversations? Why are we still living in the shadow of an antiquated and obsolete view - of what it is a woman can do - or represents? Why do men still feel the need to rise up high above their counterparts no matter the cost - even though we all know that it's not the gender that matters, it's the person. Why did I even refer to a woman as a counterpart when in truth, men and women should be viewed exactly the same? Most of us know right from wrong, good from bad - it's by our own sheer will that change is slow. Objectification, rape mentality... just general rights of life for women is the topic of Cheryl Allison's documentary. Much of this stuff, again, we already know - but this film is yet another reminder, and it's a good one. Why, when it's a woman, is the victim always looked at first? Why do people bury their heads in the sand unless it directly relates to them? Good questions - right?
As stated, this is definitely a good movie. Even knowing that my thoughts and feelings may be a little skewed at the time of this writing - in all fairness however, it's not just me who is a little skewed. "Shatter the Silence" does tend to lean slightly more into itself - instead of being completely objective. Not to the point of real complaint though. An example would be about halfway through the film - a fact that there are only 29 state representatives that are women in Texas. Only 46 more to go for a good male to female mix. At first glance, this clearly hints at a huge inequality issue but perhaps not quite as huge as you may at first think. You have to ask yourself if Texas even has an equal number of women politicians to start with? If male politicians dwarf female politicians - of course the number of women representatives would be less. This could be considered a geographic deficiency instead of a sexist one. Could an argument be made that there are not enough women politicians, because it's harder for them to become politicians? Maybe, but you'd have to then think of a reason why.
Now, I'm simply trying to remain somewhat objective - however, the points "Shatter the Silence" makes are still very valid. These issues are real and plentiful, there's no question but in truth? We don't need a documentary to know this. It's so damn obvious. Still, seeing the historic bits and hearing the stories opens the mind that much more - that's what this movie does well. Maybe we do need constant reminders of the way things are and the way they were - to be able to finally move forward and make large, lasting changes. Are you part of the problem or the solution? Four stars and recommended viewing. Links are below and worth the few clicks.