[Sundance 2018] Seeing Allred Review: A Humanizing Look at a Polarizing Figure

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Seeing Allred aims to humanize one of the polarizing figures in recent memory by showing us where she came from and where she gets her drive.

Directors: Sophie Sartain and Roberta Grossman
Summaery: To some, Gloria Allred is a money-grubbing, shrill feminist prone to tawdry theatrics; to others she's the most effective and fearless women's rights attorney in America. In this intimate, warts-and-all documentary, one thing is certain: Allred's 40-year devotion to asserting, protecting, and expanding the rights of women is unwavering and her influence unassailable.

Seeing Allred
Courtesy of Sundance Insitute | photo by Alex Pollini.

Gloria Allred is an easy punchline for comedians looking to make a point about sexism and feminists. It's something we've seen over and over again in the media — but who really is this person that we see on television all the time? Seeing Allred aims to take this character and show us exactly where she came from and who she is. We learn about the tragic past that this woman has had, and when pressed, she does tell the story of what compelled her to fight for women's rights. We have two concurrent stories happening as we look into Allred's past and her present as she fights against the Bill Cosby allegations. She felt like she could help despite the statute of limitations passing.

Allred acknowledges that she's not the most well-liked person in the world, but declares that she doesn't care. She isn't here to be liked; she's here to fight the battles that other people weren't willing to fight at the time, and Allred knew that it wasn't going to gain her any popularity. Allred is known for her high-profile cases, but the documentary also points out the pro-bono work she has done, such as with the Cosby case, or how she stepped in to represent the interests of the Brown family during the O.J. Simpson trial. We learn about some of her smaller cases and that she wasn't seeking the spotlight — she was put there, and then decided that was where she did the most good. It's a well-paced little documentary that doesn't exactly fly by, but does keep you engaged.

Seeing Allred isn't here to change your mind about the polarizing figure that is Gloria Allred, but it does force you to look at her from a different angle. You don't have to agree with her, but this documentary is here to make you understand why she does what she does.

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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at http://www.nerddomepodcast.com
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