Synopsis

When Claire, a successful DC attorney on the partner-track, is asked out by her co-worker, Devon, she thinks she’s on top of the world, but after he sexually assaults her on their date, her entire world turns upside down. As she fights to maintain her career and her sanity, she has to decide whether or not she should forward and seek the justice she deserves.  

Director’s Statement:

 

When Donald Trump was elected, I didn’t know about the #metoo movement, but I was an unwilling member, the price of admission. Grab This! grew from the sleepless nights post-election, outraged at the dismissal of hate, racism, sexism, and sexual assault. Donald Trump could “grab ‘em [women] by the pussy” because “When you’re a star...you can do anything.”

 

In Grab This!, Claire’s story examines the reality most women deal with because even if their assaulters are not famous, most get away with it.

 

When Devon asks Claire out, it seems like everything is going her way. She’s an attorney on the partner-track at a high-powered DC law firm and is on the brink of achieving everything she’s worked so hard for, and now she could find love on top of that. Her date with Devon goes smashingly well and they go back to her apartment afterwards. She’s into him, she wants him, and allows him to undress her, but then she changes her mind.

 

And this is where her life splinters.

 

She tells him she’s tired after having too much to drink, but he protests, “No, no, no, we’re just getting started.” But she’s out, exhausted, believing she’s with someone she can trust, and he takes advantage of that.

 

I don’t think everyone will see this scene as clearly as I do (and many others who’ve watched it). To these other viewers, there’s a lot of grey. She said yes. She was into it. She wanted him. She let him take off her underwear. I want this scene to spark a conversation and dialogue that ties into the larger national narrative and reckoning of consent (and the lack-thereof). I wanted to integrate the subtle ways people can be taken advantage of at their most vulnerable. The constant reassurance that everything is fine, that things shouldn’t stop because they’re having “fun”, that they should “relax”. This is an uncomfortable examination of these intimate moments.

 

When she turns to HR, she’s blamed - “It sounds like you were drinking a lot.” And she’s told of the consequences if she files a complaint, “You do not want to be known as that drunk bitch who fucked Devon...I’ve seen this before at other firms, and it never ends well for the woman...ever.”

 

This script was written with the need to show the reality of who really pays the price. I often thought of making Claire victorious in the end, giving her the justice I so truly wanted her to have - the justice I want all of us to have - but I couldn’t. That wouldn’t be honest or true. According to RAINN, out of every 1,000 rapes, 994 perpetrators will walk free. And in Grab This!, Claire walks away from her career, unable to continue at a firm where everyone wants her to shut up and pretend like it never happened.

 

Victims have been told for too long to shut up and keep quiet. Before my cast and crew travelled to the Women’s March on Washington to shoot, I spent many days and nights talking with friends who confided in me about their own assaults. Women in different situations, with dates, boyfriends, strangers, husbands, who overpowered them. I didn’t realize how many women I loved so deeply were also member of #metoo.

 

And their stories and belief in this project kept me going. I knew I had to finish it for them and for me. At the Women’s March, surrounded by hundreds of thousands outraged voices ready to fight for change, I knew this film was a part of something larger. It’s not my film, it’s a film for everyone who’s been forced to join the #metoo club, the only one no one wants to be a member of.

 

I did question myself often while making this film. Would people respond to it? What if everyone hates it and thinks, not another rape in a movie. But this isn’t rape for the sake of giving a female character backstory; this is the examination of the

 

This is a protest. So to everyone out there who ignores the #metoo movement and the brave women and men sharing their stories, well, you can #grabthis.


 

https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system





 

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