“She Said”: diving into the investigation that brought down Harvey Weinstein

A film on the Harvey Weinstein affair, but above all an ode to investigative journalism and to the women who had the courage to speak out: She Said, presented a few days ago in New York, recounts the long investigative work that sparked the #Metoo movement five years ago.

Already sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault in 2020 in New York, and tried again in Los Angeles since Monday, the ex-powerful film producer used to frequent the screening rooms of the Film Festival of New York, which closed its 60th edition yesterday Sunday.

But on one of the stages at Lincoln Center on Thursday evening, it was actress and feminist activist Ashley Judd, one of the first to denounce the sexual harassment that Harvey Weinstein had subjected her to, who was given a standing ovation by the public.

In Maria Schrader’s film, Ashley Judd plays her own role, that of an actress who refused the sexual advances of the producer and paid the price during her career, before resolving years later to speak with her face uncovered. .

“It’s so important to be in our truth and to have a moral right to our own history that I had no trouble doing it,” she said of her role, before to pay tribute to his “sisters”, other victims of Weinstein who were also present at the screening.

Duo of journalists

On October 5, 2017, when the article by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey is published by the New York Times, after months of work, it will immediately cause the downfall of the untouchable Hollywood producer and the wave #MeToo of freedom from the women’s voices on sexual violence or sexism, well beyond the cinema.

But She Said, adapted from the eponymous book by the two Pulitzer-prize-winning journalists, pays little attention to the repercussions of their investigation. Like the films The President’s Men (1976) on the Watergate scandal, or Spotlight (2015), which had put the spotlight on the Boston Globe investigation into child crime in the Catholic Church, the film is before a tribute to the patient and tenacious work of investigative journalists.

Almost half a century after the Washington Post duo embodied by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman (the President’s Men), these are two women, seasoned journalists and young mothers, who make the powerful tremble, with the help of a shadowy but crucial editor, Rebecca Corbett and the unwavering support of their editor, Dean Baquet.

“One of the reasons we are so honored by this film is that it truly embodies our beliefs in journalism,” Jodi Kantor explained after the screening. “We’ve been journalists for a long time, but the Weinstein case kind of underlines everything we believe in and puts exclamation marks on it,” she added.

The duo is played by Zoe Kazan, who plays Jodi Kantor, and Carey Mulligan for Megan Twohey.

The film highlights their complementarity: at the first the work of persuasion and empathy to make testify the victims, actresses or employees of Miramax, at the other the duels facing the lieutenants of Weinstein.

With sober direction and writing, and grave music by Nicholas Britell, She Said builds in intensity until the final face-off between the New York Times and Harvey Weinstein and his lawyers, at the time of the publication of the item.

The film distributed by Universal Pictures, which counts Brad Pitt among its producers, will be released in theaters on November 18 in the United States and then in the following days in Europe.

Andrea Bambino/AFP

A film on the Harvey Weinstein affair, but above all an ode to investigative journalism and to the women who had the courage to speak out: She Said, presented a few days ago in New York, recounts the long investigative work that sparked the #Metoo movement five years ago. Already sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault in 2020 in New York, and…

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“She Said”: diving into the investigation that brought down Harvey Weinstein