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War Zone (1998)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 76 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 2 critic

Bertolt Brecht lives! Maggie Hadleigh-West walks crowded urban streets carrying a video camera and microphone, trailed by one or two women also with cameras. Whenever a man harasses her, ... See full summary »

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Title: War Zone (1998)

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Bertolt Brecht lives! Maggie Hadleigh-West walks crowded urban streets carrying a video camera and microphone, trailed by one or two women also with cameras. Whenever a man harasses her, with ogling or words, she turns the camera on him, moves in close, and questions his behavior. The questions are not for dialogue but for making him as uncomfortable as he's made her. More than 50 such encounters are included: the men react with bravado, embarrassment, or anger. None apologize. Interspersed are her voice-over stories of growing up and dealing with men, as well as interviews with several women who talk about how they handle similar harassment and what they feel about it. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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sexism | independent film | See All (2) »

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Documentary

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12 August 1998 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Brilliant and frightening!
2 September 2004 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

Maggie Hadleigh-West's film is an honest look at street harassment. People who criticize her confrontational manner are making excuses for the behavior of adults who should know better.

Being attracted to someone does not give you the right to approach, speak to or regard them in a manner that they find offensive. A woman walking down the street in a mini skirt and bra top is going to garner a lot of attention, but that is not the point of this film.

In the film, Maggie is not dressed provocatively by American cultural standards. She's wearing shorts and a tank top. And yet she is harassed in the same manner than I am when I'm wearing a coat and hat in the middle of February. It's not about the clothes. It's about the overwhelming and disheartening lack of respect for women in this society.

One of the things Maggie does best is drive home the chilling connection between business men who "compliment" a woman's body while they're out to lunch, the criminals in trench coats who flash their naked private parts at young girls and the rapist who forces his way into a woman's house and forces himself on her in her own home.

"War Zone" is a fantastic film, and I suggest watching it with friends. The ending, especially, can be upsetting.


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