Fantastic Lies 30/30 review

Fantastic Lies 30/30 review

Espn has done it again with a pun not intended fantastic documentary, Fantastic Lies. It conronical the travesty that was the  Duke lacrosse rape scandal that took place in 2006. It was a welcome story because while I was aware of it, my life in 2006 was a blur. Dealing with youth, death, and girlfriend(s) I didn't pay much attention to it.

So when I seen the commercial for this movie, I was surprised the case ended with the defendants winning big not only in the courtroom but also in the court of public opinion.

I had always assumed that the lacrosse case ended with the guys from duke in jail.

I like so many others assumed that once again a group of white privileged males took something that wasn't theirs and finally they ie the ‘man’ was gonna get what was coming to them…

My ignorance was leveled by this amazing documentary that was directed by Marina Zenovich, who also made Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired.

It starts off with like any other cliche college party, guys raise money to hire strippers to perform for them. One of the dancers shows up drunk and stops dances, and argues with the rich guys. The rich guys begins to throw racial slurs around at the even more cliche black dancer.

Later that night said dancer, gets picked up by the police drunk and acting erratically. She Proceeds to tell them that her behaviour was due to her had just being ganged raped by three young men. The largely black citizens of Durham, North Carolina have often had a rocky relationship with the rich white students of Duke. And Duke’s elite athletes like big time college athletes everywhere have a reputation for being entitled and arrogant, with a habit of shutting down when browbeaten.

So when the story that a single mother who dances at night to pay her way through school was rapped by some “rich pricks” it was the perfect storm for national attention.

It's like this story was right out of the late 90s teen drama on Lifetime - except this time the ‘villains’  weren’t the rich guys - the villains where the media, a crooked local prosecutor up for reelection, and a detective.

This documentary for me it's less about the lacrosse story and more about how as a community we are quick to jump on the conviction train before we know any of the facts. It is a reminder to black people ( all people) that racism and prejudice doesn’t just happen to us. We are all victims to prejudice on some level, rather or not it leads to being wrongly accused of rape isn’t the point.

I consider myself to be “enlightened” compared to my peers yet I still find myself judging those who come from a different social status from myself. It's somewhat natural to feel like someone has more than you do or that they feel entitled because you perceive that they don’t work as hard as you do. So when something bad happens to them you go “ finally that prick got what was coming to him”

This documentary lead me to these thoughts and when something like this propels me to write - It's always worth a watch.

I give “Fantastic Lies” Four Thumbs out of Five.

Sidebar: this story took place in 2006, this story doesn’t need to be reopened by me. This is a review on a great documentary not a post about the duke lacrosse story that's why I choose to leave the names out of the review.

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