Runtime: 80 Minutes
Director: Sarah Moshman
By Erica Richards
“Nevertheless” hits the ground running at full speed and does not hold back. So, prepare and buckle up—otherwise you will be left in the dust. This is one of those documentaries that I passionately believe every person can benefit from watching and should watch, if you are able to. If for nothing else than the educational aspect of the content, in addition to the personal perspectives on a hot topic that will always be relevant, unfortunately: sexual harassment. The fast-paced interview-driven documentary is full of staggering statistics that punch and leave you questioning: “really, how can that be true!?” The uniqueness of “Nevertheless” is the personal aspect and the stories shared about each experience of the seven main voices in which Director Sarah Moshman handles fearlessly, yet with care.
The film has a strong open, a mixture of voiceover and montage, accompanied with current and historical footage and audio, recounting a brief history and timeline of the equal rights movement to the coining of the phrase “sexual harassment” and up to the #MeToo movement.
“The associated shame and victim-blaming culture, as well as toxic masculinity and rejection of valuing women and girls, are fully explored throughout the film in a way that sparks a desire for actionable and immediate change.”
This story is not just about sexual harassment; it is about highlighting how sexual harassment truly affects the victims in a real sense of the word. Yes, each victim expresses their struggles with overcoming the trauma and emotions of the entire experience, the lead up to the harassment and the aftermath. But, “Nevertheless” delicately goes farther than that: it shows how sexual harassment affects real people in particular and relatable aspects of their lives.
The first story we hear is from Patricia, a former 911 Dispatcher. Patricia was good at her job. She was sought out by police officers based on performance and even won an award. She thought of her co-workers as family. But that did not matter, she still experienced the harassment from someone she thought of as a friend.
Patricia immediately goes to her supervisor about her harassment and because of it, she is turned on and ends up losing her job. Not only does she lose her job, her future, her pension. Sexual assault is about sex and power, more importantly, and understanding where that is rooted in our culture is the main concern. The associated shame and victim-blaming culture, as well as toxic masculinity and rejection of valuing women and girls, are fully explored throughout the film in a way that sparks a desire for actionable and immediate change.
“This is one of those documentaries that I passionately believe every person can benefit from watching and should watch.”
The only thing that does not work for “Nevertheless” is the vast amount of voices featured. At a certain point, it becomes too much. Although it jumps from interview to interview seamlessly and does not distract from the flow of the narrative, the number of additional individuals alone make it difficult to keep up. These voices are separate from the seven survivors, providing insight and factual information on the issues surrounding the major themes.
By the time you try to grasp who is speaking and why they are important to the story, they are gone and on to the next sound bite. While the information they provide is extremely important, there are just too many people. This does not change my rating, at a strong 5-stars, “Nevertheless” is a must-watch for everyone!