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  • Summary: An entire country watched transfixed as a poised African-American woman in a blue dress sat before a Senate committee of 14 white men and with a clear, unwavering voice recounted the repeated acts of sexual harassment she had endured while working with U.S. Supreme Court nominee ClarenceAn entire country watched transfixed as a poised African-American woman in a blue dress sat before a Senate committee of 14 white men and with a clear, unwavering voice recounted the repeated acts of sexual harassment she had endured while working with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. That October day in 1991 Anita Hill, a bookish law professor from Oklahoma, was thrust onto the world stage and instantly became a celebrated, hated, venerated, and divisive figure. Anita Hill’s graphic testimony was a turning point for gender equality in the U.S. and ignited a political firestorm about sexual misconduct and power in the workplace that resonates still today. She has become an American icon, empowering millions of women and men around the world to stand up for equality and justice. Against a backdrop of sex, politics, and race, Anita reveals the intimate story of a woman who spoke truth to power. The film is both a celebration of Anita Hill’s legacy and a rare glimpse into her private life with friends and family, many of whom were by her side that fateful day 22 years ago. Anita Hill courageously speaks openly and intimately for the first time about her experiences that led her to testify before the Senate and the obstacles she faced in simply telling the truth. She also candidly discusses what happened to her life and work in the 22 years since. Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Mar 20, 2014
    90
    If you can't place the name, or want to know more, Anita is a splendid place to start.
  2. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    Mar 18, 2014
    90
    This intelligent and comprehensive documentary not only conveys the genuine nature of Hill herself, but also recreates the national sensibility of the time, an era when sexual harassment in the workplace was not yet a national concern.
  3. Reviewed by: Miriam Bale
    Mar 20, 2014
    90
    Anita is an important historical document about an event that prompted a larger cultural conversation about sexual harassment. But, perhaps more important, it conveys Ms. Hill’s journey from an accuser alone to an activist who shares with, and listens to, others.
  4. Reviewed by: Odie Henderson
    Mar 21, 2014
    75
    As a documented record of Hill's story and her achievements, Anita is a serviceable, at times riveting documentary.
  5. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Apr 3, 2014
    75
    The film itself feels a bit padded and clunky.
  6. Reviewed by: Geoff Pevere
    Jul 31, 2014
    63
    When Anita Hill took her seat before an all-white Senate committee in 1991, the optics said nearly as much about the systemic dynamics of race, gender and power in American politics as any of the specifics of the case at hand.
  7. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Mar 19, 2014
    33
    The problems with Anita start with director Freida Lee Mock’s attempt to fit this story into the template of a generic empowerment narrative.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
  1. Oct 12, 2014
    1
    Based on the title alone, one knows that this is going to be a one-sided documentary, but by distorting the actual facts of Hill v. ThomasBased on the title alone, one knows that this is going to be a one-sided documentary, but by distorting the actual facts of Hill v. Thomas this pathetic piece of propaganda exposes itself. Those who truly believe that Anita Hill is courageous for bringing forth her testimony alleging sexual harassment by Mr. Thomas, are missing some very essential points. To wit, it is not possible that an EEOC attorney did not know the civil rights law of 1964 which prohibits employee discrimination, to which sexual harassment is one of those discriminating prohibitions as previously adjudicated per case law. Additionally, the alleged sexual harassment occurred somewhere in the period of 1981-1983, and has a specific statute of limitations which is typically two years, which undoubtedly Ms. Hill was aware of. It would have been truthful and courageous if Ms. Hill had made her allegations during that time, but she deliberately chose not to. Furthermore, Ms. Hill offers no documentation to support her bogus claims other than her shaky memory of innuendos and double-speak. This is an unacceptable performance from any competent attorney, bringing her accusations against Mr. Thomas simply down to the level of "he said, she said".

    The documentary trumpets the same tired song and dance heralding the great courage of Ms. Hill over and over again, and selling the story that she is to be honored as a wonderful feminist hero. She shouldn't, because unexamined in this limp documentary is the motivation of Ms. Hill which comes down to these salient facts: Mr. Thomas' nomination, meant that Ms. Hill's fast track to any high court had been derailed, to which she felt both envy and scorned, and when the white power establishment, through proxy, came calling on her, she was only too willing to sign up to demonize the black man and to stereotype the black man as a sex-crazed fiend incapable of civility. Ms. Hill's legacy is clear, she fears and despises the black man, and is a complete sell-out.
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