What I recommend to you today is a very popular movie recently. It is loved by movie fans and audiences from all over the world, and it is at the top of the movie rankings.
Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) makes her West End debut in the UK premiere of Suzie Miller’s award-winning play.
Tessa is a young, brilliant barrister. She has worked her way up from working-class origins to be at the top of her game; defending; cross-examining and winning. An unexpected event forces her to confront the lines where the patriarchal power of the law, burden of proof, and morals diverge.
Prima Facie takes us to the heart of where emotion and experience collide with the rules of the game.
Justin Martin directs this solo tour de force, captured live from the intimate Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End.
When you watch it, you have to pause every now and then to catch your breath, Jojo Dee is really an explosion of energy ah, a person played down in one breath, the lines are eloquent and powerful and deafening: a young female lawyer with a bright and promising future, from the defense bench to the witness stand, betting on her future fate, can not make the abuser admit to the crime, she believes in the law made by men, can not protect a third of the victimized women, is not it rightfully so? Worst of all, women naively think they can win in a game where men set the rules and be respected and favored, sorry girls, it’s not your game. Don’t play their game, nature has its own rules.
I almost finished watching it in one go, during which I shed tears several times and could not calm down my emotions for a long time. The synopsis of the play is that an English girl from an ordinary background, through unremitting efforts to enter Cambridge to study law. After graduation, she became a defense lawyer, in the courtroom repeatedly with clever arguments, to help the defendant win the case. But one night she was raped by a male colleague she was dating, and her nightmare began. After 782 days of physical and mental torture, she testifies as a plaintiff to bring her victim to justice. A few brief points about my feelings about the film.
1, Jodie Comer’s full performance, was worth the standing ovation of the audience at the end of the curtain, I think her acting road will certainly be an infinite future. I’ve never seen “Killing Eve”, the hit American drama, but Jodie’s theatrical debut really made me feel how much physical strength and talent she needs to hold up a nearly 2-hour play on stage alone, but Jodie not only presented large sections of lines smoothly but also reproduced the dramatic conflicts of different characters with the help of body and tone changes. At the same time, she kept changing her costume and moving props to quickly switch scenes in the play. For some reason, when I watched Jodie’s performance, I was reminded of another talented British actress, Emma Thompson appearance and voice, and I admired her at first sight.
2. In the last decade or so, British literary creators have really made a breakthrough and deepened the discussion of women’s issues. I remember that in the BBC’s 2011 legal drama Silk, there was an episode about a woman who was sexually assaulted by her ex-boyfriend. Martha, the defense attorney (and my favorite British actress), reluctantly took on the case to defend the possibly guilty man, knowing full well that every woman who claimed to have been sexually assaulted was questioned relentlessly by police and lawyers about whether they were wearing revealing clothing, drinking too much, being slutty, or throwing themselves at each other. Ultimately, the conviction rate in sexual assault cases is extremely low, and the social impact is increasingly detrimental to the fight for women’s rights. However, her duty as a lawyer requires her to do everything she can to clear her client’s name and witness the emotional breakdown of the woman outside the courtroom after failing to win her case. In the final scene of the episode, Martha returns home and cries alone to the sad spirituals on the record player.
Now in 2022, a similar theme is brought to the stage again, and the final ending is still the same disappointing. But this time, the heroine Tessa, who has both the experience of defending potential perpetrators of sexual assault like Martha and the unfortunate experience of being a victim of sexual assault and being unable to testify, is brave enough to point out in court that the existing legal system always requires the victim’s testimony to be logical and clear so that it can be used as a credible basis for conviction. When a female victim faces aggressive cross-examination by her lawyer, she is considered to have lied in court and lost the entire case when her emotions wavered and her words were inconsistent. But the reality is that women’s memories of the sexual assault process are likely to be confused because of the extreme physical fear and trauma they experienced at the time of the crime, and because of the self-doubt they experienced later in life when confronted with questions and strange looks. Therefore, the problem of the difficulty in convicting sexual assault cases does not lie in women, but in the law itself. The legal framework formed by human society for thousands of years is dominated by men from generation to generation, and it cannot show the whole truth and achieve justice from a woman’s perspective. Perhaps, what we should strive for in the future is to question and change the existing laws, instead of ignoring or torturing every victim.
Finally, I would like to record the original quote from the play “Prima Facie”, hoping that it can trigger more people to think about the current situation of society and make a weak but valuable voice; I also hope that domestic film and television writers can go beyond the clichéd themes of “the domineering president falls in love with me” and “the harem girls compete for the king’s favor”. “The same old theme, and constantly learn from the masters, to refine the business level.