Female Directors Making An Impact

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Audrie & Daisy

Across the country in Maryville, Mo., that same year, 14-year-old Daisy Coleman was left nearly comatose on her front lawn after a hotshot senior named Matt Barnett and his buddies, she alleged, sexually assaulted her when she was drunk and unconscious.

The movie is  a sobering look at the minefield teenage girls traverse when it comes to drinking, pressure from porn-addled boys and social media popularity. And it's not as if the legal system, not to mention communities geared toward protecting star athletes and demonizing girls, are any better at handling the associated crimes.

Though the pushback Daisy received was plenty ugly — the painful impact is made clear as we watch the resilient, articulate Daisy turn goth before our eyes — and the ill-considered defensiveness of an interviewed sheriff grates, the movie offers hope in the form of a survivors' network started by another maligned victim who attempted suicide.

The future of boys is a different story. One of Audrie's assailants, compelled by legal settlement to be interviewed by the filmmakers (who shield his identity with animation), is asked what he's learned about girls. "There's a lot of gossip between girls," he mumbles between "uh"s. "Guys are more laid back and don't really care." Heads will shake.

I Am Evidence

I Am Evidence tells the story of four survivors whose rape kits went untested for years, following them as they navigate their way through the criminal justice system and learn that so often, the system is broken. The film reveals the historic nature of the way we treat the crime of sexual assault in this country, and the positive effects that occur when perpetrators are held accountable and survivors are given an opportunity for healing and justice.