Evidently these protesters never saw the film, and their aggressive campaign against its director Cassie Jaye succeeded in having the film pulled from cinemas and removed from festival programs. The simple fact that these people's ignorance and disregard for creative freedom has impeded other people's rights to engage in a discussion is outrageous and a blight on true democratic values. Shame on them, and shame on those cinema's who were too gutless to stand up to an angry minority.
To THE RED PIILL itself. Director Cassie Jaye begins the film with the pretext of herself being a feminist, with the intention of investigating the rape culture throughout American colleges. Her research quickly lead her to an online organisation called the MRM (Men's Right's Movement), which purported that men's equality was far less than that of women, and that the radical feminist movement had demonised men. Jaye initially approached the MRM as a hate group, but as she dug deeper into their rationalisation she began to sympathise with their plight, and as their arguments became more increasingly supported by facts and statistics, she found herself questioning her own beliefs and ideologies.
At no point (whatsoever) does THE RED PILL advocate sexism, misogyny or violence against women. It is simply a film that examines an alternative point of view and invites a broader discussion. Throughout the course of the documentary Cassie Jaye turns her attention to the very feminists (radical) who would later seek to destroy her film, and in giving them the platform to state their case she has ultimately exposed them to be an aggressive and irrational obstruction to free speech.
Of course as is the nature of documentary filmmaking there is always an agenda, and the filmmaker will structure their film in a way that strengthens their own position. And so there is no denying that the conflicting arguments at the crux of the film have been presented in a way that is both polarising and confrontational. Having said that, Jaye provides marker-points throughout the film to illustrate where her beliefs are challenged, and with candid confessionals along the way she is careful about how she portrays her subjects and is cautious about demonising either side. She wants an honest discussion, and it is only towards the end of the narrative that her frustrations at the behaviour of the radical feminists overwhelm her.
The film addresses various social situations that the MRM argue are unequal to the rights of women. Some of these issues include male suicide rates, workplace fatalities, military conscription and mental health. With each concern expressed Jaye follows up with her own research and fact finding, and as the MRM position becomes more and more valid she, in turn, makes a point of representing these men in a sincere, rational and straightforward way. They are not the women-hating organisation that their opponents paint them to be and – in fact – some of their members are card-carrying advocates for women's rights.
This is not a groundbreaking film by any means, but it is technically adequate. Jaye presents the film though a series of one-on-one interviews as well as visual aids such as statistics, archival footage and a narration that makes it a personal odyssey whereby her own ideologies are challenged. She has cast her attention on a taboo issue that is as equally fascinating as it is divisive and she deserves gratitude for exposing an unconventional subject.
As a male writer it feels socially precarious to be reviewing a film which examine's men's rights. And by expressing empathy towards the MRM's cause I open myself to the same criticism that the film faces. While I certainly do not agree with all of the views presented in the film I do walk away having felt engaged, as though I was part of the discussion. It is my very trepidation in siding with some of their views that actually strengthens the film's argument. Where is the harm in having an honest conversation about an important issue? And how is a person's belief a threat to another person's views? People have the choice to watch the film or to ignore it. They have the freedom to disagree with it, and they have the right to discuss it. I pity those whose who consider their own views to be virtuous above all others and I detest those whose uncivil self-righteousness effects the freedoms of others.
And so for the sake of opposing censorship and supporting freedom of speech, SEE THE RED PILL and make your own mind up. Or take the blue pill and ignore it. The choice is yours!