Thursday, January 28, 2010

where is your line?

An important focus for Unite for Change in 2010 is to bring activists, seekers and leaders some really fresh, poignant works of art (which will include but is not limited to music, film, dance, painting, sculpture and theatre) that will engage others in a dialogue of violence prevention. Several of these items along with other innovative products and educational goods will be listed in a new section of our web site, titled Creative Goods. This will be a go to place for folks looking for anything from a great book or sexually empowered merchandise to works of art that will help reach audiences in a way that is engaging and thought provoking.

Pieces like Nancy Schwartzman’s film, THE LINE is of the caliber of what we are highlighting. The film asks, where is your line of consent? Seems simple, right? In a world growing up with no means no and messages and undertones that dismantle that belief, the idea of what consent is becomes muddled at best.

Enter Nancy.

Nancy tells her story of how she was raped by a man she had consensual sex with and compares her experience to her friend, who was raped by a stranger. She beautifully calls into question why association (although this is very likely given most rapists are not strangers) makes survivors and society often ask if it was really rape. Nancy goes as far as to return to Israel and confront her rapist on camera. He does not feel like he has done anything wrong but maybe it was sex that went too far. Ask yourself, when did we even allow “sex that went too far” to be anything other than rape? When did that become okay? Another reason this film is so important.

THE LINE is powerful because not only did it move us when we viewed it, but it has stayed with us and we think it will do the same for you. Part of the films strength comes from the experts Nancy interviews such as the well known attorney Brett Sokolow and a sex worker at the infamous Bunny Ranch. It may seem odd or ironic to have a lawyer who is an expert on sexual assault and a sex worker help establish a clear line of consent but they both contribute important messages to the film, including how much work there is to do in fully understanding consent and sex. In this film (around 30 minutes) Nancy takes us full circle on her journey. She is candid, honest, likeable and funny. The style of the film will help engage all types of people in the discussion about, sex, sexual assault and consent; a conversation that needs to take place far more frequently.

Our suggestion…

Reach out to Nancy. Say hello. Invite Nancy to your campus or community to discuss her documentary with you. Or check out where she is headed by visiting her web site Don’t miss a great opportunity to check out a fully endorsed Creative Good that helps break down the barriers of discussing consent in a way that is inclusive and insightful.

Nancy Schwartzman, writer, filmaker and activist

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