Jacqueline Lemp, E23 Staffer

In today’s society, there are certain issues that are difficult to talk about. One of those is sexual assault. But even though it is a hard topic to discuss, there are women out there who take the challenge to speak about it. At this year’s Citizen Jane Festival, one film showcased that bravery. “Angels Wear White”, directed by Vivian Qu, delves into the issues regarding sexual assault and having the courage to speak up. The film screened at Citizen Jane 2018 on Nov 4.

This movie tells the story of two Chinese girls who are sexually assaulted at a hotel. The only witness was another girl named Wen. The story moves through the struggles and pain of all the characters. They all have issues at stake. Fear comes up many times in this movie. Each of the characters experience fear of what is to come. But even though they are afraid, these women find a way to test their strength and be brave.

The ending of the film does not have the resolution that people would hope for. The man who was responsible for sexually abusing the two young girls was never convicted and got away with his crime. This may not be the most popular ending to the film, but it delivered an important message. In life, not all villains get punished for what they do. Power and money can change the outcome and sometimes justice is not served.

There are a variety of female characters in this film that illustrate what women experience in modern Chinese society. From the girls, to the neglectful mother, to the strong lawyer, each woman has her own personality that adds to the depth of the story.

Visual metaphors comes up in the film as well. The large statue in the park, of a woman wearing a short skirt that’s flying up, is an important symbol in the film. Wen stands beneath the statue, and the scene captures a reality: Women are sometimes objectified and they are expected to look or act a certain way.

The closing scene is beautifully set up. Wen drives off into the distance and moves forward with her life. It is the only point in the movie where music is heard. The silence in the background through most of the film helps maintain a serious mood, but the music at the end signifies an emotional ending to the story. It may not be the resolution the audience was hoping for, but it does provide closure. It gives hope to the idea that the roles that women are expected to fill may be shifting for the better.

The audience seemed to enjoy the movie. It was extremely moving. It brought a harsh reality to the screen. Even though it was not the most enjoyable film, it spoke a message that needed to be heard.

“Angels Wear White” did not have a Q&A afterwards, which was a little disappointing. It would have been nice to hear straight from the director on her thoughts of her film. However, the message Vivian Qu tried to get across was evident. There was almost no need for explanation. Sexual assault is prevalent in society, and the issue needs to be addressed.

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