Sunday Documentary film: Anita


Redpath Museum Auditorium, 859 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 0C4, CA

Academy Award-winning documentarian Freida Lee Mock takes on law professor Anita Hill's testimony at the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings and its two-decade-long aftermath in Anita, a thoughtful, deeply felt account of Hill's remarkable journey and transformation from private citizen to internationally respected gender equality activist.

The Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings took place the weekend of October 11, 1991, and those nine hours of testimony were indelible. To watch the articulate, reserved and unshakeable Hill give a straight-forward accounting of workplace sexual harassment, only to be subjected to scurrilous attacks and dismissed as a scorned loon by a panel of smug, old, white men was nearly incomprehensible.

By the time it was over, Thomas had cleverly diverted the issue from gender to race—inexplicable because Anita Hill is also African-American—and was confirmed. Hill returned to the classroom in Oklahoma, and endured threats of violence and vilification in the press and from state Republicans who sought to have her removed from her tenured professorship.