Review: On the Record (Sundance 2020)

Title: On the Record
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering
Starring: Drew Dixon, Jenny Lumet, Kierna Mayo
Runtime: 1 hr 35 mins

What It Is: In following and contributing largely to the hip hop scene in the 90s, Drew Dixon worked to bring music geniuses and their singles to front. Today, she and others have experienced trauma, harassment, and worse at the hands of a famous record label executive come about the wrongdoings of him and what allowed him to get away with his actions in a time and position that granted him everything.

What We Think: Prepare yourselves for yet another difficult look at abuse, manipulation, and all other foul behaviors within one of the largest entertainment industries in the history of the world. It’s disappointing to know that this scandal has gone years without justice upon its makers and at the same time hopeful as we witness the uprooting of this powerful figure at the hands of these amazing survivors. This is a no-duh: everyone needs to see this. I’ll be damned if the #MeToo movement migrates to the back burner of the internet. We need it to continue and progress and evolve, we need every predator to fear for their comfy lives and promote the prevention of general abuse/harassment, as well as come even closer to total equality in how we are treated. There were many tears in the theater that I sat in; like anything else of the subject matter, it’s a hard watch as these women, by their own bravery and volition, come together and recount their graphic and heartbreaking stories having to do with their shared abuser.

Our Grade: B+, This deserves to be seen. A palatable and clean documentary showing the parallels between music history and the darker goings-on reveals so much about the music industry and the situation that women of color are faced with when they too have their terrifying stories to tell. In this difficult world of overwhelming media reporting and shifting/trending priorities from one thing to the next do they have to fight in order to bring justice to light, and with that in mind, I hope that this does not mean this documentary itself is not given the attention it requires. If you have time and the energy for a documentary, take the responsibility to make this a priority as it is still all too relevant. We need to keep this movement alive and kicking, guys.


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Chai Simone Written by: