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A triumphant retelling of a famous sexual harassment case

Oscar-winning filmmaker Freida Mock's documentary ‘Anita: Speaking Truth to Power' is a dramatic, humbling and triumphant feature, detailing what happened to the woman who brought sexual harassment in the workplace to the public's attention.

In 1991, Anita Hill gave a nine-hour televised testimony in front of the US Senate committee, accusing Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.

It is the fallout from that testimony, however, that gives the documentary its inspirational, sometimes disturbing, tone.

The opening scene centres around a voicemail message from Thomas' wife Ginni, asking Hill if she is ready to say sorry to Mr Thomas for the trouble she caused.

An incredulous Hill took it as a prank at first, but the request was genuine. Hill, however, did not apologise.

Hill, a slight, eloquent black law professor, shows the extent of her grace in the face of the all-white, 14-man Senate Committee, hell-bent on exposing her as a man-hating liar.

It is what resulted from that testimony that truly emphasises Hill's fortitude.

While Thomas was eventually given the job of Supreme Justice — a position he still holds today — Hill suffered a personal loss under which many would have buckled. Though mocked and derided by public, Hill has become a leading figure in gender equality, evidenced by a brief scene showing 25,000-odd letters of support Hill keeps filed in her basement.

Undeterred and just as beautiful as the woman she was in 1991, Hill continues to fight for gender equality, working with young women to give them a voice with which to stand up against workplace sexual harassment.

‘Antia: Speaking Truth to Power' is being shown as part of the Bermuda Docs film festival at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. It is being shown on Friday at 6pm.

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Published October 16, 2013 at 9:56 pm (Updated October 17, 2013 at 3:21 pm)

A triumphant retelling of a famous sexual harassment case

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