Confirmation: how far is too far when it comes to retelling the truth?

Emma Brockes in The Guardian:

ImagesKerry Washington is so good as Anita Hill it makes one realise that, thus far in her career, she has been underutilised as a serious actress. The supporting cast are excellent too, particularly Greg Kinnear as Joe Biden, who led the Senate judiciary committee investigating the allegations against Thomas, and Bill Irwin as John Danforth, the Republican senator and Thomas ally. For long stretches, the script sticks verbatim to a transcript of the televised hearings in which Hill so memorably and excruciatingly itemised the innuendos and propositions Thomas allegedly subjected her to when she worked for him – primarily, his remark about finding pubic hair on a coke can and the porn movie he’d enjoyed which starred “Long Dong Silver”. These scenes are electrifying, as they were at the time, not only for the testimony but for the drama of Hill, a black woman, sitting alone opposite a table of white men all seemingly out to get her, most of whom are laughably unqualified to pass judgment on matters of sexual propriety. (To wit: Ted Kennedy was one of the senators on the committee.) As the film suggests, sexual harassment had not, to that date, been on the national radar.

…And there is one indication that, contrary to the Republicans protests, the film isn’t a piece of liberal propaganda: the person who comes out worst from Confirmation is Biden, who is portrayed as weak and dithering, failing both to protect Hill and adequately to lead the committee.

It is a success of the film that one feels, in the end, the only hero to come out of it all was Hill.

More here.

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