The rape allegation. Well, we’ve had the Hitler comparison (see Matt Frei post #1), so why not throw in this despicable crime? And thrown in it very much seemed to be, close to the end of Matt Frei’s documentary, with an extra special Ivana Trump “sound-a-like” reading from the correction to the deposition she originally gave in her divorce proceedings.
Ivana Trump’s experience of the rape allegation, according to Harry Hurt III, appears below (along with Ivana’s own explanation, in the footnotes, of what she actually meant to say):
A slightly more balanced version of the rape/not rape debate can be read here at The Independent, where Ivana’s own words are given more worth than they are in Frei’s documentary, where she is skipped over in order to leave the viewer lingering over the rape imagery. As with the Hitler allegation, Frei chooses to present one version of Trump, with little effort put in to actually corroborating his “facts” and/or sources.
Donald Trump’s ex-wife, Ivana, remains good friends with him to this day, and refutes the “twisting” of her words. It seems disingenuous at best to dismiss her thoughts on the matter, and perhaps dangerous, because if Trump can be accused of silencing Ivana, so can Frei in the way he ignores her return to the subject.
Like a host of other ‘historical’ films detailing periods of injustice (Selma, 12 Years a Slave, etc.) Suffragette hits the mark when it comes to pricking one’s consciousness and making one think twice about what it must have been like to live at a certain point in history. But is that really enough – what happens after the film finishes? Do we talk about the issues for a bit before moving on? Just how effective are big movie productions at stirring the public to action – or is it all just about how great Mulligan/Streep/Bonham-Carter/Duff’s performances are (and they’re all pretty good)?
The reason for such questions stems from the whole experience of being at the cinema, waiting for the film to start, watching the adverts/trailers that precede the film. Never one to turn up dead on time because of the tardiness of film showings, the screen is in darkness with an advert running that speaks of strangers coming up to you, stroking you (uninvited) and stuff, and then the hashtag #gropefreenights appears. Then an advert about broadband speed and inspirational women, with an Alicia Keys song (an inspirational one) playing in the background. Then, a trailer for a Tom Hanks film. Then, a trailer for a Maggie Smith film. Then, the trailer for He Named Me Malala (#henamedmemalala). Then, an advert with Jack Whitehall struggling to come to terms with tackling a ‘lady’ rugby player – both humorous and subversive, potentially.
So, in an age where it seems men have to be actively persuaded to stop groping women whilst drunk (the men being drunk), and where we have a case in the not too distant past of a young girl being shot in the head in order to make the point that girls should not receive an education, will Suffragette prick the consciousness of those whose consciousness needs pricking, or do we find ourselves in a hundred years’ time looking back at Malala’s story, ooh-ing and aah-ing, whilst ignoring real and present concerns – whatever they may be in a century’s time? Perhaps it is not the place of big movie productions to stir such emotion, but if that were the case you’d have to ask yourself if there is indeed any point making such a film in the first instance. The time is now – but when is that?
It may be airing at this very moment, people may be streaming Hillary Clinton’s declaration to run for the Democratic nomination, and just who will attempt to stop her, both from within her own party and from within the GOP? The answer to this will surface sooner rather than later, but one imagines there will be a smear campaign the likes of which have not been seen for a while; perhaps the biggest smear campaign of all. And why? Well, Hillary has history. Hillary is a woman. Hillary polarises opinion. Should any or all of this matter? One thing is certain; Hillary is a STRONG contender for the White House. Anyone who tells you otherwise is deluded. The GOP is marshalling its troops to provide the strongest opposition it can, but, following the reign of Bush the second, it still appears to be in a bit of a mess, fractured around issues that usually serve to unite the party. With experience of being First Lady, and of serving as Secretary of State, and with access to funds to equal, or even eclipse, that of any prospective GOP candidate, Hillary Clinton may well become the first female President of the United States of America. How interesting might that be?