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Raw Deal: A Question of Consent (2001)

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Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

A documentary about the circumstances during a party at a University of Florida fraternity that led up to what may or may not have been a rape. Interspersed with actual footage shot by the ... See full summary »


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Title: Raw Deal: A Question of Consent (2001)

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Credited cast:
Craig C. DeThomasis ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alice Hendon ...
Disa Holly ...
Lisa King ...
Tony Marzullo ...
Rod Smith ...
Michael Yahraus ...


A documentary about the circumstances during a party at a University of Florida fraternity that led up to what may or may not have been a rape. Interspersed with actual footage shot by the fraternity brothers on the night of the incident, including the sexual acts. This video led to the police not pressing charges and the involvement of NOW, and eventually led to the fraternity getting kicked off campus. Written by Frick

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Plot Keywords:

police | party | rape | florida | frat boy | See more »


Documentary | Crime


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Release Date:

29 January 2002 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Disturbing documentary
17 February 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I had heard of this documentary when it first came out, I had met the father of the director of the film Billy Corben. he had told me about his son's film. I don't remember it ever playing in my area so I hadn't seen it. I finally came across a DVD of it and saw it. It is both riveting and off putting at the same time. It is very difficult to watch. In 1999, a University of Florida fraternity had a party and hired a couple of strippers for the party. The whole party was filmed by a couple of the frat guys. It turns out that later that night one of the strippers that had left came back to the party and ended up staying and proceeded to go into a room with a couple of the guys and was allegedly raped. The film has interviews with Lisa, the woman that was allegedly raped, and Tony, the one of the party organizers that had hired her and was in the room when the act was going on. There are other interviews with people involved with the aftermath of the case. The film also shows footage from the party and the act in question. The film starts of mostly with interviews, weaving some of the video from the party and the room after. Lisa insists that she was raped, Tony insists that she was lying that she had never screamed or given any indication of not wanting to have sex with these guys. The film then focuses on the horrible handling of the case by the authorities in Gainesville. Lisa accused these guys of raping her and the police confiscated the videos. After watching what had gone on, the police determined that she had falsely accused the frat guys and was arrested for it. The guys she accused were questioned together and were not charged at the time. The whole thing was handled terribly by the police that the DA, the film shows also how politics played a role in not charging these guys wit a crime.

At first I thought that the footage would be too ambiguous for me to agree on whether or not Lisa was raped. In the beginning of the film, the footage is shown quickly and gives the impression that this what happened was consensual sex. It is obvious that Lisa at wouldn't appear to be very sympathetic to us because of preconceived notions about her profession. The last half hour of the film shows the footage for longer periods, and we get a better sense of what went on. The guy that she was in the video with was named Mike, he declined to be interviewed for the film(what a surprise!. This was a power struggle, she was obviously drunk but seemed totally aware of what this guy was doing. She was egging him on, sarcastically asking him if doing this to her made him feel "like a man". The guys that are filming are laughing, at one point one of them says "welcome to the RAPE of a crack-whore bitch". How anyone could look at this and not determined that she was being raped is beyond my comprehension!!!! At least the Mike guy deserves to have been put in jail, he was overpowering her,m there is no way she could have fought him off. I think she decided to let him do this to her without having him hurt her more than if she would have struggled. She was clearly trying to keep him from penetrating her. Tony comes off as a real jerk, asking that if she was being raped why didn't she scream out or say no. He claims that he wouldn't let his friend do that. He comes of as a real scumbag, saying that this had ruined a year of his life and that he had dreams and he was a better than Lisa. Lisa was basically white trash and beneath him. Disgusting human being.

This film reminded me of the film, The Accused, where Jodie Foster played a woman that was raped in a bar by a group of guys and they were being cheered on by spectators. The film dealt with the fact that she was drunk that night and that she had flirted and carried on with some of the guys in the bar that ended up raping here. The rape scene was shot in a way that made it clear that she was raped, there was no way to deny it. My point is that the film dealt more with the attitudes that the justice system and the public deal with a situation like this. Does a woman deserve to be raped if she dresses provocatively or act a certain way.

There are of course cases where a woman has falsely accuses someone of rape. The Duke Lacrosse team case comes to mind. I remember that case, it was assumed automatically that the guys were guilty, and it turned out that the woman was lying. In that case law enforcement had also handled the situation horribly. This documentary deals with the attitudes that we have about what rape is. Rape is not a sexual act, it is an act of violence and degradation. Tony says that he thanks G_d for the existence of the tape, that it completely exonerates him and his friends. I think that it does just the opposite, it clearly shows this woman being raped, she may have put herself in a compromising position, but she didn't deserve for this to be done to her. The justice system clearly failed her.

These guys should have gone to jail.

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