A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Focuses on the MeToo movement from the perspectives of Black women. Supports older teens in learning how race/culture affects the experience and aftermath of sexual violence.
It's never too late to speak your truth. Though there can be costs to speaking out about your experience of sexual violence, there are also many rewards, such as discovering inner strength, solidarity with other survivors, and social change.
Positive Role Models
Drew Dixon, the survivor who's story this documentary is centered on, is thoughtful, determined, relatable, trustworthy, fierce. The other survivors profiled share these traits and serve to illuminate the commonplace complications for Black women in sharing their stories of sexual violence.
Centers the too often ignored issues Black women face when it comes to confronting sexual violence. Drew Dixon is a Black woman and many other survivors interviewed are Black and women of color. Explores how the MeToo movement -- primarily led by White celebrities -- excluded people of color who have survived sexual assault. There is in-depth discussion of how race affects the aftermath and recovery of sexual assault survivors.
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Violence & Scariness
Multiple accounts of violent rape are described, though not shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some images of scantily clad women in videos are shown. A few clips of audio capture Russell Simmons speaking about women as objects/conquests.
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Occasional swearing, including "s--t," "f--k," "bitch" and "ho."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
References to partying, drinking alcohol; no portrayals.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that On the Record is a documentary about sexual assault survivors in the music industry. Filmmakers Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick (The Hunting Ground) present the compelling story of Drew Dixon, a former music executive behind several '90s-era hip-hop hits. The film follows Dixon as she becomes one of the first women of color in the #MeToo era to publicly accuse the "godfather" of hip-hop, Russell Simmons, of sexual assault. The movie covers the unique issues Black women face as sexual assault survivors, which will add nuance to many older teens' understanding of race, culture, and sexual violence. Positive messages about perseverance, solidarity, and surviving sexual assault are implicit in the sometimes stoic, sometimes emotional, and always thoughtful ways that Dixon and the other survivors describe their assaults and the aftermath. Occasional swearing includes "bitch," "f--k," and "s--t," and there are a few references to partying and drinking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This heartrending, though ultimately hopeful, documentary powerfully depicts the unique experiences of Black women survivors of sexual assault. Not just about the women's stories, On the Record covers '90s-era hip-hop and schools viewers on the long history of sexual violence against women of color. Dixon is a gripping subject: Thoughtful and measured, she is determined to heal from her sexual assault. The movie has incredibly affecting scenes throughout, of women recounting the details of their assault, but also quietly devastating moments, like when Dixon sits in a coffee shop and reads the New York Times article that broke her story. The camaraderie she finds with other survivors and the ending scenes provide hope to any person struggling with telling their truth. This documentary lays bare the limitations of a MeToo movement primarily led by wealthy White celebrities, and centers the too often ignored issues Black women face when it comes to confronting sexual violence. Older teens, hip-hop lovers, and budding social activists will benefit from watching this film and discussing it with trusted adults.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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