On the Record (2020) MIFF Review

The #metoo movement has impacted many industries, although perhaps none as publicly as the entertainment industry. However, it’s been mostly film and television which have been the focus rather that the music industry. On the Record looks at the accusations of assault which have been laid at the feet of Russell Simmons, one of the most prominent men behind Def Jam Recordings.

The film looks at the fallout from assault on the victims, which goes way beyond any phsycial or psychological harm. Drew Dixon was a producer and forging a strong career which she left behind because she could not continue to work in the field. This is a rarely talked-about aspect of assault. Countless women’s careers have halted because they need to distance themselves from the assaulter or the environment in which the assault happened.

The film also looks at the challenges that face a black woman accusing a black man in a time of extreme racial divide in the US. It can been seen by some as letting down the black community to accuse a black man – as if the needs of the many win out over the assault of an individual. This is certainly not helped by the way feminism and the #metoo movement has had a large focus on white women over BIPOC people.

It’s an important film which shows how we need to do better in many ways.

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