The big day is finally here! That’s right, it’s the Oscars! It’s a night when the movies that captured our imaginations are celebrated by the people who made them. Though I don’t know what will win, I really hope the Academy does the right thing and honors number two on FMR’s Top Ten List…
2. The Predator (dir. Alex Gibney)
The Predator is a meticulously researched indictment of Harvey Weinstein, the vile movie producer who terrorized young women in Hollywood for decades before his career and reputation were destroyed after his victims began to come forward a year and a half ago.
In this age of searing documentaries about crime and abuse finding mass popular audiences, it would be truly astounding if a major filmmaker with studio backing hadn’t tackled the Harvey Weinstein saga by now. Luckily Alex Gibney (Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Taxi to the Dark Side) has crafted The Predator, a documentary that brings the truth about Harvey Weinstein to light.
The man was a monster, but what is almost more frightening is how his monstrous behavior was both encouraged by and helped to influence the shape of the modern film industry. Even the Oscars themselves function largely in the shadow of the aggressive, bullying, take-no-prisoners marketing campaigns Harvey Weinstein pioneered in the 1990s.
I found myself shuddering with too much familiarity as I listened to his victims speak out about the psychological damage of physical and emotional abuse. Violence and intimidation can have really long-lasting and insidious effects on the victim’s mind. I know this from personal experience.
I usually don’t reveal much about my personal life on FMR, but in order for you to understand why I rate this fake movie so highly, you need to know a little about me. I was in an intimate relationship during which my partner abused me emotionally and physically on a regular basis. I am still just beginning to recover from what I experienced.
Watching The Predator brought back some really bad memories. I once cowrote and coproduced a short film with my abuser that was spoofing a film directed by a famous abuser (his behavior became public knowledge shortly after Weinstein’s) in tribute to another even more famous Oscar-winning abuser. The short film starred my abuser and a famous television producer who admitted to past abusive behavior toward an employee around the same time we made the movie. I bring this up because The Predator should be understood as an illustration of how Hollywood at every level can be a labyrinth of cruelty and predation, and that #metoo has only barely begun to change this dynamic both in the film industry and in the world at large.
The Predator may be a fake movie, but it’s essential for of all of us to confront the painful truth from which it is drawn.
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