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Anita: Speaking Truth to Power

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An entire country watched as a poised, beautiful African-American woman sat before a Senate committee of 14 white men and with a clear, unwavering voice recounted the repeated acts of sexual harassment she had endured while working with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Anita Hill's graphic testimony was a turning point for gender equality in the U.S. and ignited a political firestorm about sexual misconduct and power in the workplace that resonates still today. Against a backdrop of sex, politics, and race, Anita: Speaking Truth to Power reveals the story of a woman who has empowered millions to stand up for equality and justice. Directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, the film celebrates Anita Hill's legacy and provides a rare glimpse into her private life and career.

Review

"CRITIC'S PICK! 'Anita: Speaking Truth to Power' is an important historical document about an event that prompted a larger cultural conversation about sexual harassment. But, perhaps more important, it conveys Ms. Hill's journey from an accuser alone to an activist who shares with, and listens to, others." --Miriam Bale, The New York Times

"This intelligent and comprehensive documentary not only conveys the genuine nature of Hill herself, but also recreates the national sensibility of the time, an era when sexual harassment in the workplace was not yet a national concern...[a] thoughtful and quietly powerful film." --The Hollywood Reporter

"One woman, stepping into a mess of political, racial and sexual power plays...makes for rapt viewing." --Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly


Product Details

  • Actors: Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas
  • Directors: Freida Lee Mock
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Full Screen, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2014
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00K0PA9ME
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,723 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. L LaRegina on November 17, 2014
Format: DVD
The 2013 documentary ANITA: SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER reminds me of the thought I had during Anita Hill's testimony before the U.S. Senate in 1991, where she recounted sexual harassment she suffered under former colleague Clarence Thomas, whom President George Poppy Bush had nominated to the Supreme Court: Why is this getting all the attention? What about Thomas's poor qualifications? Did Bush operatives plan this, counting on Hill's honesty causing such uproar that no one would notice Thomas was just a political hack, a better fit to judge on DANCE FEVER than the nation's highest court? Or was the background check that forced this reserved young woman into national fame simply a stroke of luck as while Thomas would be embarrassed, it was a price worth paying if it meant the distraction from his public record would result in Senate confirmation?

Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court decisions speak for him, albeit in language different though no less obscene than what he used on Anita Hill. But if you've wondered about the life of Anita Hill before and after those October 1991 hearings, ANITA: SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER is a good start. The film deals less with her history with Thomas than you might expect but that seems to be its point. With all her detractors said about Hill in 1991 in mind, see how much holds up.

And it wasn't just 1991. ANITA: SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER opens with the 2010 phone call to Hill from Ginny Thomas, wife of Clarence Thomas, asking her to apologize for what she said two decades ago. While Anita Hill has not worn the blue dress she donned for her testimony since that Senate hearing, I'd like to see Hill wear it just one more time to visit Ginny Thomas and kick her in the ass.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By william pratt on July 17, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A good and timely reminder of a bipartisan farce. The unbalanced collection of old white ideologues were oblivious to the obvious. Biden should be perpetually embarrassed for failing or refusing to allow corroborating witnesses to speak on Ms. Hill's behalf. I have had juries dumber than the despicable committee, but not many. If only the services of a crystal ball could have availed. Then even the oblivious committee members could have known the essence of what they enabled. John Dean recently put the impeachability of Thomas into a cogent essay. Google it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By NANCY MARANO on July 19, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I remember this trial so vividly. I was so angry at the attitude of so many men in particular. So many non-listeners who had their minds made up ahead of time - just as many men in congress. This DVD is very well done, with the reactions of the actors of
the time, and journalists (female). Anita Hill was the classy woman I remember, although one can tell that this trial changed her
life. I strongly recommend this DVD to women of all ages, and hope that this DVD will be played for our children, and grand-children, watched together, and explained. Congratulations to the producers of this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Still Singin' on April 29, 2015
Format: DVD
I have been waiting for this movie to come out for several years, and was not disappointed. It depicts well the memories many of us have of those days. The all-male, all-white Senate commission is viewed with irony and deep distrust. Conversely, Ms. Hill speaks with simple honesty, dignity and calm. Her evidence is credible, historic in nature, and circumspect.

Ostensibly unflappable, she must have been tortured inside, considering the overtly hostile questions of many panel members. It was beyond unfair to be called forth as a character witness for another, only to be challenged on her own character. And not permitted to present sufficient corroborative witnesses and references of her own?

At the time of the original hearings, I was glued to the TV and really trying to figure out if she was telling the truth. I was certainly not pre-biased. But the difference between Hill's steady, detailed and prolonged testimony . . . no melodrama here . . . and Thomas' defensive and simplistic rejoinders indicated almost unmistakably who was telling the truth. One Hill witness did say that it would have been more appropriate for her to have been nominated for SCOTUS than Thomas.

I would have liked to have seen in the film some analysis of how the media handled this historic event at the time. Oversimplifying as usual, the major networks were infatuated with verbatim descriptions by a reluctant Hill as to Thomas’ sexual verbiage. (She didn’t wish to repeat those vulgarities, but was coerced by the panel.) Jokes were made and memes were formed. But we got rather less media discussion of the real issues involved. Paradoxically, Thomas could never have gotten away with hanging a pornographic poster on his office wall to offend the staff visually.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This short but essential documentary accomplishes, among other things, the incredible task of identifying specific political game players as the biggest hypocrites of their generation. For that accomplishment alone, this film is essential stuff. Hypocrite Award #1 goes to Joe Biden, who shows phony compassion to Anita Hill by asking if her family has attended the hearing, when in fact he was just interested in manipulating and exploiting Ms. Hill's genuinely horrifying experiences for political purposes, as evidenced by his present-day inability to keep his embarrassing and sexist personal gender biases under wraps. Hypocrite Award #2 goes to the Democratic Party brass evidenced in this film (Mikulski, Kennedy, etc.) whose supposedly passsionate support of Ms. Hill as some sort of "spokesperson for women's rights" is invalidated within a year as they all stood staunchly and silently behind a serial sexual predator in his presidential candidacy. Hypocrite Award #3 goes to the small gathering of professional political activists who chant "Stop Thomas Now", presumably because they are opposed to sexual harassment of women, when at least one of them present is currently directly involved in the campaign to draft the ex-president serial sexual predator's wife to be the next president. For these weighty disclosures, all detailed in period footage for everyone to see, this film "speaks truth to power" in an unintended way that is thrilling, provocative, and important for all the right reasons. An outstanding piece.
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