HBO's "Share" Movie: A School Drama: Violence Destroys Lives

HBO's "Share" Movie: A School Drama: Violence Destroys Lives
HBO's "Share" Movie: A School Drama: Violence Destroys Lives
Video: HBO's "Share" Movie: A School Drama: Violence Destroys Lives
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Text: Dina Klyucharyova

July 27 on HBO (and in Russia at Amediatek) a film is released called Share - Repost - about how the life of a high school student is shattered when she discovers a discouraging video with her participation, which she does not remember anything about. Let's talk about this movie in more detail.

Waking up late at night on the lawn near her own house, sixteen-year-old Mandy realizes that she does not remember how she got here from a party with friends. She walks into the bathroom, finds that she has no clothes on, and realizes that something has gone wrong. The girl does not attach much importance to the situation, until a day later her classmates begin to share a video in which several guys pull off Mandy's jeans while she lies passed out on the toilet floor. The video ends and Mandy is left wondering if something else happened? Whispers and sidelong glances begin around Mandy, and she, flaunting, tries to slow down the case - but then her parents find the video and convince her daughter to go to the police. However, the case turns out to be difficult even for the detective who takes on it: no one confesses, and there is no evidence that sexual violence did occur, as if there were no.

Repost was written and directed by Pippa Bianco, a relative newcomer to television. As a director, she managed to work on one of the episodes of Euphoria, another recent HBO premiere. The full-length Repost is based on the short film of the same name with Taissa Farmiga in the title role, for which Bianco received the Cinefondation prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The full length was first shown at Sundance this year, where it also did not go unnoticed and received a Grand Prix nomination, Waldo Salt Prize for Screenplay and a Drama Award for Rihanne Barreto, who played the main character. The rights to show "Repost" were quickly bought by HBO - which turned out to be in the hands of the film: a deep and uncomfortable chamber tape is really better to watch alone than in a large cinema.

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The film does not focus on crime and punishment itself, but rather focuses on what it means to survive the abuse for the victim herself. Repost very accurately demonstrates the devastating sense of isolation that can be present even despite the support of family and friends. Friends do not disown Mandy, but they step back and continue to communicate with the main suspect in the attack. The school principal insists that Mandy study remotely for some time because "her situation distracts others from the educational process." The heroine, without doing anything wrong, is persecuted just because she asked for justice. Bianco does not show episodes of bullying in the forehead, but the viewer knows about them by indirect details: in the dining room, a couple of girls leave the table when Mandy sits down at him, and throughout the film her phone is ringing nonstop notifications of messages with threats and bullying, which she doesn't even look. The viewer does not recognize their content, but Mandy's mother does, who, after seeing the preview on her daughter's phone screen, asks her if she will take a screenshot of "all this."

The attitude of parents towards Mandy in this situation is as perfect as it can be - they clearly show that they are on the side of their daughter and do not accuse her of anything. At some point, the father even has to reason with his daughter, who convinces him that it happens that she herself came to this party and drank too much herself. He tells her that no behavior gives others the right to bully her.

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The young British actress Rihanne Barreto manages to convey very accurately how in such a situation even a self-confident teenager with a strong psyche gradually breaks down. Her heroine goes in for sports and plays on the basketball team, but as events unfold, she unsticks and drops the balls one by one. It is curious that the only character who is engaged in victimblaming here is the victim herself. No one but Mandy herself blames her for what happened - but at the same time, no one knows how to properly support her.

Before tackling the script, Bianco dived deeply into the topic - she studied about forty similar cases, spoke with six victims, two aggressors, their families and several experts to get a panoramic view of the incidents and consequences of sexual violence. Bianco deliberately made the heroine's offenders simple guys, not at all like one-sided villains. “The main thing for me in the script is to show how the best intentions lead to bad consequences. The only way to do this is to admit to yourself that you yourself can be in the place of any person. You can become the one who does the unthinkable act. A living being making choices based on personal experience, problems, and the context of the situation. Good intentions do not justify bad deeds. Intentions are not enough. But any person from any side of the situation should be treated like a human being,”says Bianco.

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For a short hour and a half, the director raises a dozen important unanswered questions, which snowball as the film is watched. Is it decent to continue to communicate with a person who is suspected of violence, if he personally did nothing wrong to you? Should the case be carried through to the end, having achieved justice and widespread publicity, while ensuring itself the label of a victim for many years to come? Should you forgive a person who has committed irreparable damage if he is your closest friend? Who is more to blame - those who mock a girl in alcoholic intoxication, or those who shoot it on video and then upload it to the public? Does the victim have the right to just forget what happened, or is she obligated to punish the rapist? Without any edification about the danger of bad habits, "Repost" convincingly eliminates the idea that people from the outside can know better how a victim of violence should behave, and proves that from such a deeply personal and traumatic situation that she faced in one form or another every third woman on the planet, there is no single right way out.

PHOTOS: HBO

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