UNBELIEVABLE

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My daughter Amy called my attention to this series. It is based on a true story set forth in  The Marshall Project and a  ProPublica article,.“An Unbelievable Story of Rape,”  written by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong. I sat down one evening, to watch the first episode but could not give it up until finising all eight. A timely theme, a complex story, sensitive acting, careful direction and film making, all came together, and held me capitive. Wiki capsulizes it approximately in this way:

GENRE DramaTrue Crime
PREMIERE 09/13/19
CREATOR Susannah GrantAyelet WaldmanMichael Chabon
PERFORMERS Toni ColletteMerritt WeverKaitlyn Dever
NETWORK Netflix

The story is roughly as follows: Marie, a young woman, is raped repeatedly at knifepoint by a masked assailant who threatens to kill her but leaves her bound and gagged. She escapes with difficulty and reports to authorities; so begins an long formal, exhaustive and detailed investigation, and so begins her post traumatic rape syndrome, that includes the resultant investigations. It begins with a protocol driven professional rape exam; an exhaustive interrogation follows where her story is carefully investigated, to clarify details, and evaluate its veracity.

By that time Marie has relived her rape over and over in the telling and retelling and the justification of her story. No one is obviously unkind, but most all seem unaware of Marie’s growing and increasingly desperate desire to escape the fact-finding process, while reliving her rape over and over again.

At last she becomes so exhauted, dysfunctional, and confused, that when asked if she might have, or possibly could have, imagined the rape, she recants. She denies it happened. Therefore, she is informed that she lied in her original account, which is a crime in itself; one that requires a full investigation, and possible prosecution, with a bail of $500. In short, she needs a lawyer, a monetary expense she cannot afford, on top of her emotional and physical wounds. The rape story therefore remains somewhat in doubt; and there is not a single bit of evidence at the scene, to confirm that it ever happened. The rapist, Marie claims, even forced her to shower afterwards.

Marie’s terrified and dyfunctional reactions increase; the rape itself, and this ongoing legalistic variation of rape aggravates her post rape stress syndrome during the following months. We follow here through those events.

Meanwhile two women detectives, Rasmussen and Duvall, pick up the trail of the rapist and pursue it relentlessly. They are determined, astute, and persistent; they are very real, and very likeably human, often carrying on their difficult work with wity interaction or humor.

In time they discover a series of rapes elsewhere across the country, with the identical pattern of Marie’s rape assault. All these rapes are so carefully and skillfully carried out that there is not a shred of evidence left behind. The rapist is knowlegable somehow; he knows the territory, and may even be a professional or a policeman.

Indeed he is apoliceman, and finally, marshalling all their interrelated evidence, they find and arrest him. The case is so compelling that he goes to trial, and is convicted to 327 years in prison.

A happy ending follows, where Marie gradually recovers. She is a survivor, and furtheris relieved that her rapist is caught. The detecitves are recognized and lauded; the original investigator- inquisitor realizes his errors and apologizes briefly to Marie. While the ending is almost too neat, it is satisfying. I have no hesitancy in reccomending this series. It is informative, and timely. To those who underestimate or tend to dismiss the nature and persistent trauma of rape, Watch Out; you may learn something. To MeToo activists : This is your series.

However, I hope we all agree that any injustice should be condemned; that would include men who are accused of rape without evidence. The burden of proof should fall to the acuser in any case. That is the main reason rape should be immediately reported, even though to do so requires great courage.

One thought on “UNBELIEVABLE

    amyloofbourow said:
    September 21, 2019 at 15:24

    Thanks Daddy!

    By the way, did you ever see Monsters and Men? I REALLY think you will like it, easily as well as you enjoyed Unbelievable.

    Amy

    >

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