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Seeing Allred (2018)Seeing Allred (2018)

Some people dismiss her as a shrill feminist crusader, and a publicity hound who never saw a camera that she didn't like for her tawdry press conferences. Other's claim she's in it for the money (I doubt it). In some ways she makes for an easy target. But in our country's #metoomoment, I appreciated watching this Netflix Original documentary film about the celebrity attorney Gloria Allred (born 1941), even if it was long on admiration and short on critical inquiry. She's passionate and fearless. "I live in a war zone every day," she says. "There is a war on women. It's real, it can be very ugly. Women depend on me to be strong, to be fearless, to assertively protect their rights." Allred's professional life is deeply personal. When she was in her twenties, she was raped at gunpoint. A botched abortion from the resulting pregnancy almost killed her. For many years she was a single mother. And so, she says, "my work is my life, it's not just about what I do but who I am; it's my identity." There's no narrator in this film, just the camera following Allred while she tells her story. For a lengthy article on her life and work, see "Gloria Allred's Crusade" by Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker (October 2, 2017). I watched this film on Netflix Streaming.

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