Film review: On The Record (15)

One the record

One the record - Credit: Archant

The story of how record exec Drew Dixon disclosed her rape allegation against her former boss is timely, painful and well told

One the record

One the record - Credit: Archant

Battered by the hurly-burly of cultural discourse, it’s easy to forget that playing beneath the echo chamber of hashtags, cancelling and people bellowing that their voices should be heard, are stories of real pain.

One of these is that of Drew Dixon, who in her 20s was a prominent A&R executive at Def Jam Records, America’s foremost hip hop record label, until she was allegedly raped by its CEO and co-founder Russell Simmons.

Being a film on race and workplace sexual predators, On The Record is very now.

But it approaches the topic with a measure of restraint and sensitivity that is not. The film charts her decision, emboldened by the MeToo movement, to finally come forward some 22 years later. It is about the risks faced by those who break cover, but also the pain of not coming forward and just trying to hide it.

The film is very revealing on the reasons and history of why black women are reluctant to accuse black men of sexual violence, and why intelligent women might want to support a music genre where women are often degraded in the lyrics and the videos border on pornography.

4/5 stars

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Directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering

Running time: 95 mins