Netflix has released the first trailer for the upcoming sexual assault documentary Audrie & Daisy. Directed by Bonnie Cohen and Jon Shenk (The Island President), the film had its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and tells the heartbreaking, true-life story of two young women who were sexually assaulted: Audrie and Daisy. They were strangers to each other and never met, but their stories are told in parallel as a means of chronicling both the worst case scenario for victims of sexual assault, as well as the glimmer of hope. Spurred by a video of her assault that quickly made the rounds in her high school, Audrie Pott was so ashamed that she committed suicide within a week of her attack. Daisy Coleman, meanwhile, became the victim of nationwide shaming as many rallied around her attacker—a football star and the son of a politician—as the story soon made headlines across the country.
I caught the film myself at Sundance earlier this year and it’s a tactful, thoughtful, and anger-inducing piece of filmmaking. It takes the time to really zero in on who these girls are and what they faced after being assaulted, which in turn has plenty to say about the way our society stacks the deck against anyone who dares speak out about having been violated. It’s an important story that needs to be told, and Cohen and Shenk expertly cover everything from the effects of social and televised media on these women, to an inherent bias from authorities to believe the male in these situations, which happens to a not insignificant number of women and is one of the major reasons most sexual assaults go unreported.
I’m happy this film is going straight to Netflix as it’s tough to convince someone to actually go to the theater to watch a documentary about sexual assault and suicide, but I do hope folks will give it a watch from the comfort of their own home. Portions of the film are hard to watch to be sure, and you’ll certainly come away angry and frustrated, but Cohen and Shenk are careful to shine a light on the advocates working to protect young women like Audrie and Daisy from similar occurrences in the future. and it ends on a surprisingly hopeful note.
Watch the Audrie & Daisy trailer below, and click here to read Matt’s review from Sundance. The film will be available to stream on Netflix on September 23rd.