She Said: That We Need to Watch It


Joie Evar, Staff Writer

Upon first hearing about the Harvey Weinstein story, I found it incredibly difficult to envision the extent to which Weinstein abused his power to sexually harass women in the entertainment industry. For starters, at the time when the story first broke, it was a conflict new to many people. Although many individuals were able to give praise to the women who took the risk of taking part in the #MeToo movement, many others were unaware of the extent of this risk. And still many others were unaware of whether or not there was a risk at all. 

She Said, one of 2022’s last movies of the year, is an American biographical drama directed by Maria Schrader highlighting the Weinstein story and the journey of two New York Times writers who covered it.

Jodie Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) are two New York Times journalists who unveiled the scandal to the public. Their story eventually sparked the #MeToo movement. Although the movie is centered around the Weinstein scandal, Weinstein himself is hardly a character throughout the movie; the only scene of him is a view of his back profile. The major conflict of the movie revolves around how the journalists would get Weinstein’s victims to come forward, and the plot discusses the laws and fears preventing the victims from doing so. Schrader approaches the plot figuratively and literally; she illustrates the road towards finding one’s voice by hiding easter eggs and symbols of feminism throughout the film. 

The movie has been reviewed as “mis-genred” as many people viewed it as more of a documentary than a drama. But in my opinion, it is far from a documentary. I would not necessarily categorize it as just a drama either but a strong mix of both. It is more powerful than a documentary; the acting combined with the music, sets, and expressions make it something that overcomes the sense of viewership and makes you feel like you are actually there. The movie uses real clips of Weinstein’s harassment which make it all the more realistic and all the more necessary that we watch it. 

It is hard to get people to feel strong emotions about situations that they can not personally relate to, especially when discussing topics like sexual abuse. It’s hard for people to feel the pain of something that they have not been exposed to enough. Sexual abuse is so rarely discussed as the public eye only sees a handful of courageous women who speak up at all. Why were these women so courageous, and why was it so hard for them to overcome their harassment from Weinstein? She Said cleverly answers these questions and addresses the problem that we’ve seen so harshly in the news. However, She Said delivers its message in an artistic way as with emotions and soul behind it. However, the film manages to accomplish this while consistently educating the viewers based on the facts. No matter who the audience is, you will feel something through the symbols of motherhood, sisters, wives, and daughters. 

Many of the characters in the movie struggle with other issues related to womanhood. Meagen Twohey, one of the writers of The Times, is struggling with postpartum depression. Laura, a victim of Harvey, is in the midst of battling breast cancer. Still others are battling the oppression of men in the workforce. The NDA (nondisclosure agreements) Weinstein’s lawyers demanded in compensation for his misconduct kept all of the women in fear. Ashley Judd, a victim of Weinstein, plays herself in the movie. She explains how when she denied Weinstein, he blacklisted her from Hollywood. Schrader also highlights the women’s struggles in addition to sexual harassment to appeal to the audience, highlighting the fact that this really can happen to anyone. The movie never mentions the #MeToo Movement, nor does it directly villainize Weinstein. What it does do is spotlight the women who spoke out as heroes while exposing the real villain as the system that has allowed these abusers to get away with misconduct using their privilege.

Movies like these help to educate us and create greater awareness. The only way that we can move forward from our mistakes is if we can allow ourselves to learn through the eyes of others. She Said not only educates its audiences, but inspires viewers to advocate for greater justice. There are millions of Harvey’s out there, but it’s the same laws that keep abusers away from consequences.