Great independent films. Great conversations with the filmmakers.
Sun, Oct 28, 2018
7 – 9 PM (doors: 6:30 PM)
BEAHIVE / 291 Main St
Q&A with director/producer Cynthia Lowen after the screening
“A forceful rebuke to legions of victim-shamers who use “it’s her fault” as a mantra.”
— Rolling Stone
“That compassion lies behind every frame, from Netizens’ all-female crew to its informative, forceful story. Not only does this film explore a vital and oft-ignored social issue, it does so with the respect its victims deserve.”
Official Selection at the 2018 Tribeca and Hot Docs Film Festivals
The internet today is a battleground.
Netizens delves into the lives of three women whose lives have been transformed by online harassment. Carrie Goldberg is an attorney in NYC, who launches an internet privacy and sexual assault law firm in the wake of her own cyber harassment. Tina, in West Palm Beach, is a successful businesswoman whose career is derailed after an ex-boyfriend creates numerous reputation-harming websites. San Francisco-based Anita Sarkeesian is the creator of a popular web-series, “Feminist Frequency,” critiquing representations of women in video games, who is the target of a cyber-mob’s ongoing campaign of rape and death threats.
Through an intimate, vérité approach, Netizens depicts the many forms digital abuse can take: non-consensual pornography, cyber-stalking, threats of violence, privacy invasions, impersonation, character attacks. The film challenges the notion cyber harassment is “only” online, showing the repercussions on targets’ lives: lost jobs, thwarted educations, damaged reputations, offline harassment and stalking, and countless hours devoted to containing attacks against a backdrop of mounting legal fees and psychological distress.
While law enforcement lags far behind the crimes, the film’s subjects seek justice on their own terms. Carrie’s law firm takes off in the midst of the #MeToo movement; Tina speaks out about her experiences and breaks back into the finance industry; and Anita creates a new series about race, gender and inequality in America. Netizens bears witness as a courageous wave of individuals transform the web as we know it.
Netizens is the directorial debut from Lowen, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and award-winning writer. She is the producer and writer of Bully, a 2011 feature documentary following five kids and families through “a year in the life” of America’s bullying crisis. Lauded by reviewers, Bully was awarded the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in journalism and was nominated for two Emmys.
Drawing on its success, the filmmakers created The BULLY Project, a social action campaign and partnership with organizations, brands and corporate sponsors, sharing a commitment to ending bullying. The film and campaign garnered support from such prominent voices as Anderson Cooper, Ellen DeGeneres, Meryl Streep, and Katie Couric, among others, and in April of 2012 Bully was screened at The White House.
Lowen went on to co-author The Essential Guide to Bullying, Prevention and Intervention (Alpha) with Cindy Miller, and was the editor of Bully: An Action Plan for Teachers, Parents, and Communities to Combat the Bullying Crisis (Weinstein Books).
Lowen is also an award-winning poet and winner of the 2012 National Poetry Series for her collection The Cloud That Contained the Lightning. She attended Colorado College and received her MFA in creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College.
Subscribe to our list to learn about future screenings.