REVIEW: ‘Victim/Suspect’ – an infuriating watch

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victim/suspect — But Why Tho (1)

Victim/Suspect is a documentary from Netflix that explores the horrors that rape victims have to endure when no one believes them. Directed by Nancy Schwartzman, it features Rachel de Leon and Amanda Pike. Additionally, the producers are Rachel de Leon, Christopher Clements, Julie Goldman, and Alice Henty. The documentary runs just over an hour and a half, has also been nominated at the Sundance Film Festival.

The documentary starts with the determination of Rae de Leon, an American journalist. Her intensive research found that there was a high number of women being accused of lying about sexual assault. Despite her initial news piece about the hard-hitting topic not being greenlit, she felt so strongly about the issue that she continued to work on it for four years. That passion shines through the documentary. With a team of journalists and experts, Rae starts to dig deep into this story. Not only do we see the emotional trauma these women have to face. But we also witness how these victims face threats that they will go to prison. And in some cases, that threat even becomes a reality. Additionally, stats and audio footage show how victims soon start receiving treatment more suited to suspects. It truly is blood-boiling from the very beginning.

In Victim/Suspect, we see one-on-one interviews, CCTV footage from the questioning process, and retellings of the assault. There’s even footage where a police officer accuses one of the victims of lying. This alone will infuriate the viewers. Just as infuriating is the lack of support from the police services. And from what we see in Victim/Suspect, the police services falsely arrested the victims despite clear evidence supporting the fact they were raped. This documentary exposes the broken system that can so easily leave entire lives in ruins.

Moreover, the police officers assigned to the case performed a lack of proper questioning when it came to the rape suspect. What happened to all of the women featured is awful. However, because Megan Rondini committed suicide after her rapist was indicted, her story will long stick in your mind. It’s a horrifying reality of what can happen in these tragic cases. As previously stated, Victim/Suspect is not a fun watch. But importantly, it’s a watch that we should all sit down and digest. If only to educate us on the issue and hopefully spread awareness. 

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Victim/Suspect explores the media’s obsession with lying about rape. Namely, as the show explains, “The Gone Girl Effect”. It’s a weird obsession for the media to have. And once again, just like it did with the police force, the documentary highlights a lot that is wrong with society. If Victim/Suspect does anything, it highlights just how cruel and horrible this planet can truly be. It’s really unfair what these victims had to experience, and it’s natural that the documentary is going to result in some strong emotions.

Yes, Victim/Suspect is a documentary that will leave you very angry. But stick with it; it has a topic that you should talk about. Sadly, this won’t be the end of the discussion. But hopefully, it can help people continue this much-needed conversation – and if that happens, Victim/Suspect has been a success. To call Victim/Suspect hard-hitting and infuriating is a massive understatement. This documentary will leave you angry beyond words, but you should watch it nonetheless.

Victim/Suspect is streaming now on Netflix.

  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10


To call Victim/Suspect hard-hitting and infuriating is a massive understatement. This documentary will leave you angry beyond words, but you should watch it nonetheless.

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