29 08 2015

FeltJason Banker’s “Felt” portrays the ongoing trauma of a sexual assault survivor as she struggles to reintegrate with society.  The bizarre character of her behavior, including her habit of donning a full-body felt costume complete with a large dildo, alienates even her closest of friends.  But, against the odds, a saint of a man decides to give her a chance romantically.

The film stars Amy Everson as a fictionalized version of herself, which makes the film admittedly a little tougher to criticize.  I know many friends who have survived the traumatizing ordeal of sexual assault, and everyone has to deal with it in their own way.  As the support system for them, it is our duty to stand by them through thick and thin.

But for people who might not be as sensitive to intricacies of sexual assault, “Felt” might send a different message.  The film does not spend enough time abhorring rape to have earn a character like Amy, the only known survivor in the film – and is portrayed as absolutely psychotic.  Are Banker and Everson trying to tell people to support rape survivors or steer clear of them altogether?  Their intention might be the former, but the content of the film seems to argue the latter.

“Felt” does make a clearer indictment of rape culture, demonstrating the false myths men perpetuate about women going to duplicitous ends in their quest to get attention.  In order to arrive at those, however, Banker and Everson force us to endure some painfully stilted improvised dialogue.  The whole film just feels lacking in focus and precision, which is a shame since the artists likely had a lot to say.

Anyone looking to really provide support for sexual assault survivors might be better off watching Kirby Dick’s excellent documentaries “The Invisible War” and “The Hunting Ground.”  C2stars



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