Wednesday, September 16, 2020

I'll Be Gone in the Dark

Lengthening shadows, the feeling of being watched, shots from Creature from the Black Lagoon stalking it's prey, a beautiful young swimmer who doesn't know the danger lurking right beneath the surface. No one can say this adaptation of Michelle McNamara's book on the Golden State Killer lacks style. Yet for me it wasn't just the style, it was the substance that kept me turning in week after week. It delved deeper than the book into the subject of being a woman and being a survivor and that made the documentary even more relevant today. A more human approach. Hearing the stories from the survivors intercut with stock footage from the time period and the hunt for the rapist in the 70s and 80s somehow made the era come alive, it grounded everything and made it more real. What's more there's a frank discussion about what it's like to be a woman, the whole idea that women are told to dress and behave a certain way to not become victims instead of teaching men to not attack women. The sheer number of rapists working in one area of California at that time shows the pervasiveness of sexual assault against women and the danger we constantly feel and I felt seen and heard tuning in every week. In fact it got me wondering, would the East Area Rapist, despite his reign of terror, ever have become the boogie man of suburban California with the longevity to be relevant today if he hadn't escalated to couples and then killing? Would he have been forgotten as just another rapacious rapist that was just gone in the dark? Who knows. But Michelle's personal drive, her personal journey was just as important as the other survivors, because in the end she became EARONS last victim.


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