A sharp, stirring account of the 1991 Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings that gripped and divided the nation, this documentary details the ordeal faced by Anita Hill when she spoke before the Senate about the sexual harassment she endured from nominee Clarence Thomas. Writer-director Freida Lee Mock’s concise and potent chronicle uses a wealth of archival video and numerous new interviews with its subject to properly contextualize Hill’s testimony as a landmark moment in the fight for gender equality.
Still possessed by a conviction that what she did was both right and necessary (“If I am not public, there will be a sense of victory that they will have over me”), Hill comes across as a figure of tremendous resolve and courage. Her desire to stand up for women’s rights was all the more impressive given the cards played against her by Thomas and an all-white, all-male committee of interrogators, who attempted to embarrass her. Anita shows Hill, now a professor at Brandeis, having triumphantly navigated her trial by fire, a coda that stands as a reminder that success—both personal and societal—often comes from refusing to stay silent.
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