Wednesday, January 25, 2023


If you can, allow yourself to imagine what it feels like to have a horrible secret. Perhaps this secret is that you witnessed something egregious at work and now you are torn with having to decide what to do. Doing the right thing is rarely the easiest thing to do. Do you step forward and tell someone what happened or do you fear that telling the truth will end your career and possibly stain your reputation both personally and professionally forever and always? What do you do? Or perhaps the secret is one of having been molested at a young age by a family member, by a family friend or by someone you know. Do you sacrifice yourself for the good of the family and your molester by existing in silence? Do you allow your secret to slowly devour you? Do you live your life always wondering what you would have been like if the abysmal violation you endured had never happened?

Today we seem to live in a culture that penalizes a person for coming forward. Instead of being believed, a person is made to feel shame and disgrace for coming forward. A person is often the subject of cruel ridicule while the guilty parties surface as unblemished and triumphant. No wonder people often wait years to come forward with their story. They know the hornet's nest it will stir up so many people remain silent to their own detriment. They are forced to live a life veiled by many psychological scars. Stepping forward marks you as a liar, a troublemaker or worse while staying silent marks you as a coward who isn't strong enough to possibly help future victims and yourself.

An article published on January 20, 2023 in the Los Angeles Times written by Tracy Brown and Mark Olsen brings to highlights the documentary, Justice directed by Doug Liman. 

PARK CITY, UTAH —  “Justice,” director Doug Liman’s surprise documentary about the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, premiered Friday at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

A late addition to the indie festival’s Special Screenings lineup, the film played its sole public screening during the event — announced at Sundance’s opening news conference on Thursday — to a packed house at Park City’s Park Avenue Theatre, with Liman in attendance greeting friends and giving hugs at the front of the room.

Kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2018 after a contentious confirmation process that included allegations of sexual assault. In 2019, it was reported that by order of the White House and Senate Republicans, the FBI limited its investigation into the accusations of Kavanaugh’s past sexual misconduct.

Liman, a filmmaker best known for his work on movies such as “Swingers,” “The Bourne Identity,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and “Edge of Tomorrow,” explained in a statement that “‘Justice’ picks up where the FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh fell woefully short.

“The film examines our judicial process and the institutions behind it, highlighting bureaucratic missteps and political powergrabs that continue to have an outsized impact on our nation today,” he added. “Justice” is his first documentary.

Oh, and the last songs to play over the PA system before screening began? Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”

Here are the key takeaways from “Justice” and the Q&A that followed:

1. This may be obvious, but the title “Justice” has two meanings here. It’s meant as a reference to Kavanaugh’s title and a claim that the FBI and the political establishment perpetrated a miscarriage of justice to those who came forward with allegations by failing to pursue them adequately.

2. Christine Blasey Ford, who alleged during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing that he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers in the 1980s, is not a key source in the film. Though the doc opens with Ford asking Liman why he’s interested in this, and what his goals are in making the movie, she otherwise appears only in archival footage. Instead, her story is primarily told through her congressional testimony and interviews with her friends. “I felt that Dr. Ford had given so much to the country... she more than did her part for the country,” Liman said. “She did enough for 10 lifetimes.”

3. “The prominent memory is the laughter.” Deborah Ramirez, who alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party when they were Yale students together in the 1980s, does appear in the film to recount her story — and, like Ford in her public statements, Ramirez singles out Kavanaugh’s laughter among her memories.

4. The film features a potent recording from Max Stier. Stier allegedly witnessed sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh during a “drunken dorm party” while at Yale — and notified senators and the FBI after Kavanaugh’s nomination, though the FBI reportedly failed to investigate the claim further. Though he does not appear in the film, the recording is powerful: The alleged incident, he says, involves a woman whose identity remains anonymous because she has chosen not to come forward — for lack of memory during a night of drinking, yes, but also because she saw what happened to Ford after speaking publicly.

5. Context, context, context. The film includes interviews with experts who speak about how traumatic memory works in order to substantiate the credibility of Ford and Ramirez’s allegations. There are also discussions of the media discourse around Ford’s allegations in 2018, which in some cases attempted to paint the scenario as “boys will be boys,” or to counter the accusation by asking, “Why ruin a man’s life for something he did as a kid?” The film positions itself, in part, as an indictment of a broader culture that encourages us to forgive and forget misbehavior by privileged groups.

6. According to the documentary, the FBI to this day hasn’t reached out to those who sent in tips about the allegations against Kavanaugh for formal investigation. “I do hope this triggers outrage,” said producer Amy Herdy — ultimately leading to “a real investigation with subpoena powers.”

7. According to Liman, the chilling effect against accusers remains: “This was the kind of movie where people are terrified,” he said. “The machinery that’s put in place against anyone who dared speak up, we knew that machinery would be turned on this film... We live in a climate where no matter what we got in this movie, the people who support the status quo would keep supporting it.”

Now here we have an issue with two sides. One side wants the world to believe that Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted someone when he was much younger and of course, the other side who claims the people who have come forward to tell their story have done so for fame or some other equally vile reason. Obviously, since no investigation was done we may never know the absolute truth. The question justice really blind or is it apathetic and geared towards protecting the privileged amongst us?


  1. Sadly justice as she is practiced in many (most) Western cultures is on the side of privilege. Or has been set up that way. Privilege that is believed and has the money to defend itself.
    I do hope that karma (slow as she is) comes back to bite rather a lot of people really, really hard.

    1. I don't even know what to's just a damn shame that if someone is accused of doing something and if that person is wealthy immediately the wealthy person screams "witch hunt, fake news" and the person who reports such a wrongdoing is drug through the mud and their life is usually left in shambles for stepping up and doing what they thought was the right thing to do.

  2. Unfortunately there is no justice for a lot of people in this world.

  3. There are 3 sides to every story, party 1's story, party 2's story, and the truth. How i would love to see justice always find and come down on the side of the truth, no matter how difficult.

    1. Yes, but when the truth eludes us far too often for many reasons.