Friday, June 11, 2010

Girl 27 / What Number Was I And How Many More Will Be Counted?

In 1937, Patricia Douglas, a straight-laced, 17-year-old studio dancer was sent by a casting agent to what she thought was a film call. She ended up at a MGM Studios sales convention "stag" party where she was manhandled and eventually raped and beaten by an out-of-town salesman.

When she tried to seek justice, she got screwed again - this time by everyone from top MGM brass, the district attorney, the press, and key witnesses to her doctor, lawyer and own mother. The emotional ripple effect of that crime has been felt by three generations to-date.

Flash forward 65 years to Hollywood historian, author and filmmaker David Stenn's discovery of Douglas' story in old newspapers while researching a Jean Harlow biography and pursuing the truth, much to the chagrin of Douglas who gave up hoping for justice long ago.

GIRL 27 is not only a documentary about a powerful studio scandal and cover-up, it's also the story of how an 85-year-old woman overcomes decades of pain, fear and disappointment to learn to trust someone again when they say "I want to help you find justice, vindication, peace." As such, I liked that the film shows the development of Stenn and Douglas' friendship and the emotional bond they formed.

The most compelling part of the film is Douglas' on-camera recollections, speaking about the rape for the first time ever. (She was never interviewed for any of the exploitative newspaper articles of the day.) This is a woman who needed to feel, and did ultimately feel, heard and understood.

There's lot to love about this film besides the courage and heroic beauty of Patricia Douglas. Vintage film clips showing how violence against women was treated by Hollywood at the time, interviews with family members of key players in the story and insights provided by experts such as actress Diana Carey (herself a victim of studio system sexual harassment), author Judy Lewis (the daughter of Clark Gable and Loretta Young, and victim of a Hollywood scandal cover-up), attorney Michael Taitelman and legal analyst Greta Van Susteren.

I'd highly recommend viewing the DVD while listening to Stenn's audio commentary track. He provides lots of relevant insights and additional facts pertaining to the case and Hollywood history, as well as background tid-bits on the making of the documentary. I thought it was one of the more compelling commentary tracks I've heard in years.

This movie review was from Lisa Burks.

It is an amazing true story of a very brave young girl who was brutally raped. It vastly effected her entire life and altered her direction greatly. I recommend you watch this movie and think about how many life stories are not told. (The movie is available to watch online.) Think about the children and young adults who are molested and raped and never heard about. Many lives who's paths are altered. Many who turn to drugs and prostitution. Many who have severe depression and those who commit suicide not due to the molestation they live through but because they can't face the rejection and non support from their own family's. What number was I and how many more peoples lives will be numbered or more importantly, how many more childrend will not be counted when they are molested? We need to ban together as a family and pull open the curtains and stop hiding the people who are largely left to continue their sexual deviance towards children and young adults. The title "Girl 27" refers to Patricia Douglas as she was the 27Th girl on the list of many girls called to this "MGM Barn" under the pretext of a movie call. I am posting some statistics form a wonderful website "Darkness to Light".

The statistics are shocking

* 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
* 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
* 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet.
* Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under.
* An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today.

Even within the walls of their own homes, children are at risk for sexual abuse

* 30-40% of victims are abused by a family member.
* Another 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust.
* Approximately 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know.
* Therefore, only 10% are abused by strangers.

Sexual abuse can occur at all ages, probably younger than you think

* The median age for reported abuse is 9 years old.
* More than 20% of children are sexually abused before the age of 8.
* Nearly 50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are children under 12.

Watch"Girl 27" and make the decision to get involved and NOT HIDE anyone you know has or suspect has molested or raped a young person. If you have been told by a neice or nephew or other relative that a family member has molested them, take the time and steps to investigate and not just brush them away. The worst thing you can do is NOTHING. It only reoffends the survivor of sexual abuse and allows more molestation to coninue. DON'T LET THIS BE A PART OF YOUR FAMILY LEGACY, IT IS NOTHING TO BE PROUD OF!

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