*Trigger warning: this article contains mentions of sexual assault*
When I first logged on to Netflix and clicked on a recommended film titled Guilty, I didn’t know what I was in for. The whole movie was crazy, but I absolutely loved it. It was deep and impactful, and featured amazing actors and excellent cinematography.
The story was developed through flashbacks to a disastrous Valentine’s night at a college where all the drama began. Soon enough, it becomes evident to viewers that the movie would be addressing the MeToo Movement. The show centered on a rape trial involving main characters Nanki, Vijay, and Tanu. Throughout most of the film, Nanki is dead set that Vijay didn’t rape Tanu. Even the viewers don’t know for sure. However, Nanki does figure out that Tanu was telling the truth with the help of investigator Danish. In the end, Nanki, Tanu, and Danish are able to reveal the truth in front of everyone.
Guilty did an excellent job at addressing the MeToo movement. However, it also addresses a variety of other issues including PTSD, the effects of sexual assault, the inequalities between the wealthy and the poor, and more.
Every 73 seconds, another American is raped. But how many are fighting for those people?
Overall, the movie was stellar and I think it has the potential to greatly transform entertainment. Many forms of entertainment, namely the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, have been sensationalizing not only rape, but also suicide. The media has tried to so perfectly craft these stories, which just isn’t how real life trauma works. Rape culture started to become more accepted. The ideas that ‘boys will be boys’ and that the rich should get away with sexual assault became more real.
Guilty also addresses the integrity of the victim reporting the assault. In the movie, Tanu reports the assault a significant amount of time later, but she does step up. Instead of believing her, Nanki, along with many people, don’t believe Tanu and call her a liar. The assumption that a large number of women falsely report rape is just flat out wrong. The rate at which the accuser is lying is 10%, according to Public Affairs Professor Callie Rennison from the University of Colorado Denver. This is the same as most other crimes. The movie emphasizes how in real life too many people don’t believe the accuser, and that has become a huge part of rape culture as well.
Rape culture is especially evident internationally, like in India where Guilty takes place.
The countries with the highest rate of sexual assault in the world are as follows.
These are places that most Americans have never been to or experienced, which makes it harder to fight for. Everyone from the production company to the director of Guilty were Indian (except for the fact that the distributor was Netflix). These people had experienced the atmosphere of rape culture in India and were able to accurately portray it. This is where entertainment comes in. By showing the stories of people across the world fighting for their basic human rights, the media can further support the #MeToo movement. It will create more of an understanding as to what exactly is going on in the world.
Despite the sensationalization of rape culture in media, there have been times, like Guilty, where the performance all wrapped together providing for a quality viewing experience and an impactful message.
Moreover, another example would be the Netflix show Unbelievable, which is based on true events. It did an amazing job of portraying how investigators worked so hard to find the rapist who had carefully covered his steps. When portrayed accurately, rape culture can be addressed and it can persuade more people to support the MeToo movement.
The MeToo movement is alive and thriving, and Guilty makes sure of that.
Rape culture isn’t going anywhere yet, but neither is the MeToo movement.
The movement peaked about two years ago, but is coming back for policy change. The movement started the #MeTooVoter to push voters to elect leaders who would develop policy around sexual assault. Sexual harassment against workers has been increasing too and the MeToo movement is fueled and ready to combat it. The media has become a primary game-changer for the movement. This includes not just social media, but many tv shows and movies that have strived to spread awareness of the problem.
The entertainment industry needs to cover more social justice topics like these. However, it also needs to make sure it isn’t sensationalizing them.
Media has such a wide reach over so many people. By spreading awareness through these platforms, the movement will gain more traction than ever before.