In a pretty good example of The Streisand Effect, I had never heard of the documentary The Red Pill until it made the news here in Australia when it was protested, banned, and cancelled. I happened to notice it on Amazon Video recently, and one rainy Saturday afternoon loaded it up.
So what’s it about?
When a feminist filmmaker sets out to document the mysterious and polarizing world of the Men’s Rights Movement, she begins to question her own beliefs. Chronicling Cassie Jaye’s journey exploring an alternate perspective on gender equality, power and privilege.
In this day and age these subjects are a giant rabbit hole of entrenched camps, so I’m just going to focus on the documentary itself, and not the rights and wrongs of the various groups involved.
Jaye features prominently in this and you can see her struggle throughout. Sometimes when documentarians insert themselves into a story it feels like they take over and become almost too present. But I think she found a good balance between letting her subjects talk and talking herself.
She talks to both men’s rights activists and feminists so you do get to hear from both sides. I think she presents her story in a way that is easy to follow, and in such a way that it develops logically.
Where it lets itself down is with some of the production work. The camera is often shaky, the colouring looks weird, and in one case as someone was interviewed in a bar the background noise was so loud that they had to put subtitles on the screen as you couldn’t make out what was being said.
Overall I found it to be a very interesting documentary. You can see Jaye’s struggle, you can see her realisation that both sides have good points and that what she had believed up until starting this journey had only been part of the story.
Jaye must have known that it would be controversial, and I respect that she had guts to put it out. Lots has been written and said about this documentary and no matter where you fall on the spectrum of thought on this subject matter, I think its worth having a look at.