Archives / 2013 Sundance Film Festival

ANITA

Film Still

Director: Freida Lee Mock

Institute History

Description

You know who you are—don’t ever doubt yourself.
—Erma Hill to her daughter, Anita

On October 11, 1991, a poised young law professor sent shock waves through the nation as she sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee intrepidly testifying to the lewd behavior of a Supreme Court nominee. Twenty years later, Academy Award winner and Sundance veteran Freida Mock (Wrestling with Angels screened at the 2006 Festival) brings us ANITA, which crystallizes the sexist power dynamics in the room that day and unravels the impact of that lightning-rod moment on Anita Hill’s life and the broader discussion of gender inequality in America.

Contemporary interviews with Hill and her allies and unsettling archival footage reveal the way her attempt to report confidentially on Clarence Thomas’s conduct quickly became a perverse and vicious public attack on her character and credibility. With Thomas playing the race card and a bevy of male senators lobbing ideological bombs, Hill’s hearing became a charade of justice. Yet her audacity to speak truth detonated a national debate about sexual harassment that revolutionized gender politics. As girls and women express what Hill’s sacrifice has meant to them, we’re moved to shout, “We believe you, Anita.”

— C. L.

Screening Details

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