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Roll Red Roll Movie Review

Friday Night Blights

After premiering at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, Nancy Schwartzman's documentary "Roll Red Roll" is ready to roll-roll out to the general public. It chronicles the story of a notorious high school sexual assault case that became known internationally.

In 2012, a teenage girl was raped by star players of a Steubenville, Ohio, high school football team. What followed tore the town up, with some wanting vengeance on the boys, others questioning their guilt, and still others who thought it was no big deal, just boys being boys.

The scandal would have probably never been revealed if it weren't for the perps talking about it on social media. These guys are not master criminals. However, even though they blabbed about it, they might have gotten away with it.

Local cops weren't making much headway in the case until Alexandria Goddard, a lone crime blogger who did extensive research into it, uncovered all of the social media boasting by the boys. Her work eventually came to the attention of Rachel Bissel, an investigative reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, whose stories about the case brought it to national and international attention.
Then the story got even bigger. The hacking group Anonymous organized a protest rally in Steubenville in which several women revealed their own harrowing tales about being raped. The media circus was now in full swing.

Schwartzman does a credible job putting it all together into a coherent and sad tale, but somehow I wasn't as outraged by it all as I think I should have been. I don't think that's the fault of Schwartzman, though. Sadly, I think I am becoming somewhat numb to these stories of rape. Maybe because there have been so many of them, it's no longer shocking to me. It almost seems like the norm. That's the worst part of all of this.



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