11 user 2 critic

War Zone (1998)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 12 August 1998 (USA)
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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Cast overview:
Maggie Hadleigh-West Maggie Hadleigh-West ... Herself


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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Plot Keywords:

sexism | independent film | See All (2) »




Not Rated



USA | Germany



Release Date:

12 August 1998 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

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Featured in SexTV: Warzone/Richard Kern/Breastfeeding (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

a disturbing documentary: I felt like Maggie was my 'voice'
14 July 2009 | by kwugbootsSee all my reviews

As someone who has always been encouraged to just ignore sexual harassment I found watching this documentary empowering, it made me very happy to see a woman taking the power back and turning the objectification and invasion of space onto the men who cat-called her. I liked the anger and incredulence/bewilderment of the girl Natasha towards guys who street harass, the interview with Natasha & her mother was my favorite part of this film. I also liked the irony and obvious inappropriateness of stranger guys cat-calling a lesbian girl.

Did I feel sorry for the men Maggie interviewed? If those men were embarrassed through her camera & questions, they were only embarrassed because of their own behaviour. If they were embarrassed that they were on film then that's their problem, they were behaving that way in public. I felt a bit sorry for them but I think they got what they deserved; they got a taste of having their space invaded by a stranger on the street; and they wouldn't have been embarrassed by her filming their public behaviour if they knew they had done nothing wrong.

The question that is most important for men in this documentary is, "would you want strangers to behave like that towards your sister or your mother?" Most guys don't sexually harass, but enough do so that almost every women is the victim of sexual harassment on the street - usually starting from when they are quite young (10-14 years old). I had a friend who (like that 14yo girl who was interviewed) was stalked by a man on the street when she was about 12, she escaped but it really terrified her. It must be particularly hard for women/girls who are very attractive, they must get constant sexual harassment on the street. Street harassment that I have experienced has made me have my guard up all the time now when I walk past men. I am less trusting. I've prepared myself to be someone who does NOT look around if anyone calls out to me (because I don't want to be embarrassed, I don't want them to 'make me look'). Maybe I am extra-sensitive to street harassment compared to most women, but so what.

Being sexually harassed by men on the street makes me feel embarrassed, insecure, disrespected & like the men view me the same way they view women in strip clubs (but I don't get paid to be eye candy). It's been odd for me to be told on my way to school or university by complete stranger men that I'm valuable because I look good. I've always felt safer at University or school because there I was valued for the work I did & who I was (not for my body).

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