The Rape of Recy Taylor Screen 6 articles

The Rape of Recy Taylor

2017

The Rape of Recy Taylor Poster
  • This is all fascinating. But you quickly get the sense that Buirski either doesn't find it interesting enough to let it stand on its own or else is afraid that audiences will rebel against too many bare-bones elements. . . . The approach she's chosen here is more often irritating than illuminating, and at times suggests a lack of faith in the inherent power of the elements she has on hand.

  • I’m breaking a self-imposed rule of not writing negatively about festival films. I’m doing so because..., regardless of the inadequacy of the film’s artistry, I hope that the film gets a theatrical release and is widely seen, because what’s good about it is more than good, it’s essential, which is what makes its shortcomings all the more conspicuous and frustrating.

  • Some stories are so important that they can overcome a documentary maker's poor cinematic choices... As if the story weren't moving enough already, she also tells us how to feel with trite visual poetics (fuzzy and superimposed landscape images) and a soundtrack loaded with spirituals.

  • Timing alone makes “The Rape of Recy Taylor” something close to essential viewing. But Buirski’s approach is oddly diffuse, lacking the clarity of rage that has informed so many recent touchpoints in social-issue documentary. Instead, the tone is mournful and a little misted over with time (especially in the first half), an effect magnified by Buirski’s evocative but sometime overpowering use of music, and the selection of black-and-white footage she uses to illustrate the story.

  • It's the strongest documentary in the NYFF line-up, a stirring, infuriating marvel... Everything about "The Rape of Recy Taylor" aims to stay with you, to present the ugly history as something that cannot be scrubbed from the chambers of our memory. Recy Taylor is still here, the film reminds us, and so is the stain of these crimes, of hate and rape. We must want to remember what happened so that it will never happen again.

  • Were it not for the director’s steady hand and adamantine focus on her destination, this ambition could have been the film’s undoing. Instead, its scope is stirring, the gradual accumulation of insult and outrage reaching far beyond tiny Abbeville. . . . The miracle, though, is that the movie isn’t a diatribe. Its voices . . . are gentle and persuasive, using the horrific details of the rape and its aftermath as ballast to stabilize a heart-wrenching history of systemic injustice.

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