Not a Pretty Picture

Written, directed and produced by Coolidge, this is a film within a film. Part narrative reconstruction of her own rape at 16, part documentary footage of director and actors, it seems more of a cathartic exercise for those participating than an instruction to its audience (Michele Manenti, who plays Martha, was also an adolescent rape victim). Their tremendous emotional involvement proves inadvertently alienating: watching the director's distress at seeing her narrative self being raped is disturbing, not because of what it says about rape, but because it's so intensely personal. Also, the 1962 high school scenario is culturally distancing, particularly for a British audience. A film which never really manages to confront us with the enormity of its subject, nor with any kind of analysis as to why rape occurs.

Release details

Duration: 83 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Martha Coolidge
Screenwriter: Martha Coolidge
Cast: Martha Coolidge
Michele Manenti
John Fedinatz
Jim Carrington
Anne Mundstuk
Amy Wright
Stephen Laurier