Ahead of today’s debut of the Roll Red Roll documentary
on PBS, Director Nancy
with Brian Pinero, former RALIANCE National Project Coordinator, about the film’s
efforts to document the aftermath of the 2012 high school rape case in
Steubenville, Ohio and shed light on the broader culture that normalizes
and enables sexual violence. Below are lightly edited excerpts from the
interview. The full podcast is available here.
In August, RALIANCE will also host a special screening of
the film and panel discussion during the National
Sexual Assault Conference. The panel will include Schwartzman and
members of the Pennsylvania sports community to discuss the film and the
role sport can play in preventing sexual violence.
Nancy Schwartzman on the impact of sexual violence in a community:
anti-violence work and I know that a rape is not just between two people. It
really ripples out and affects so many relationships – relationships with
victim or perpetrators’ family, friends, communities, church, school. It’s a
network of relationships and there’s a tear when that happens. [Steubenville]
was just a microcosm of all these ripple effects.
she wanted to make a film about sexual violence that was not about the victim:
If we are
going to change the culture, we have to look at the behavior, we have to look
at the perpetrators. We have to look at the culture that enables rape because
victims are on such a spectrum. It really makes no difference what a victim of
violence is doing, or wearing, or drinking or not drinking. So, shifting the
focus and making this film really about the boys and really about the town is
was exciting about the film reviews:
making references to the Kavanaugh hearings, making references to Spring Break
and fraternities. I’m like, this is a film about high school football context,
and I love that you’re pulling it as wide as it is.
need to hold others and ourselves accountable:
powerful about the film and where we all need to go is to less of a call-out
culture and to more of a call-in…We’ve all known about something and not done
anything. We’ve all participated tacitly because this has been our culture. Our
schools, our jokes, our pop culture, our television has enabled us to be
desensitized…We’re all part of it, and there’s like a real fear and
unwillingness to acknowledge that sometimes people you love can do really bad
important role that coaches play in prevention:
needs to be modeled also by coaches. It’s not fair to put all of this pressure
on 16-year-olds. The adults from the top need to be modeling this is what is
acceptable on my field and off the field.
gives her hope:
making sure that this campaign invites men to join us…We’ve had amazing people
like Wade Davis, former NFL player, openly gay, incredible. I want to be around
passionate men who are working alongside us to prevent gender-based violence,
that gives me hope. The women in my film give me hope. A blogger Alex Goddard,
Rachel Dissell, Marianne [Hemmeter]…these are women who made this s— happen…It’s
about the critical reviews from all of these men who are like we are so done
with this culture. None of the reviews are an indictment of football, it’s much
larger…The more allies we can bring in the more hopeful I think it is.