On March 24, the screening of “Promising Young Woman” hosted by the Film Club and Students Against Sexual Harassment was held in Brooks Auditorium. The purpose of the event was to spark conversation about sexual abuse throughout Samford’s campus and increase students’ awareness about the issues of sexual assault and harassment.
Released in the United States on Dec. 25, 2020, the film has grossed $15 million in revenue and won Best Original Screenplay at the 93rd Academy Awards. Women heavily dominated the film production crew, due to it being directed by Emerald Fennell, produced by Margot Robbie and starred by Carey Mulligan. Together, they were recognized at the Critics’ Choice Awards, Writers’ Guild Awards and the British Academy Film Awards.
“It brings rape culture into a light that most dark comedy thriller movies do so in a way that’s very serious and this movie does it in a more light-hearted way, but really dives deep and shows a lot of the aspects of rape culture that we don’t actually think about,” explained President of SASH, Chloe Pappa.
As the film amassed numerous awards based on the overall production, the message for the Samford community was to “push people outside of the Samford Bubble,” Pappa commented.
By displaying a movie with revenge, violence and swearing, it was tailored to put viewers in an uncomfortable situation.
“This has made an impact nationally because a lot of people are willing to have those conversations now,” said President of the Film Club, Greg Young.
After the conclusion of the screening, a discussion was held with questions narrowing in on specific aspects of the film. Hearing from the students and creating an open forum atmosphere, different perspectives were heard and deeper meanings were formed.
From the discussion, the theme of “nice guys” shifted the conversation to re-evaluating preconceived thoughts about rape culture. One of the featured stars, Bo Burnham, played a vital role in debunking this narrative. Known for his comedic personality and genuine presence, his character Ryan Cooper highlighted a different undertone that society dismisses.
“I think what stuck with me specifically was the casting of the men in the movie. When taught about sexual assault, often we focus on the stranger or staying away from the creepy man hanging around too long. But the casting for the men was full of comedians and beloved characters from different films in order to show that often the abuser is the “nice guy” or even someone you know,” commented Grace Henry, a member of the audience.
The imagery throughout the film kept viewers on the edge of their seats and ready to converse about how they digested it. Highlighting techniques like lighting, duration and conflict within various scenes, students were able to express how they felt and provide connections to other movies.
As both presidents thanked the audience for their time and attendance, contact information and upcoming events were promoted. Young announced another screening event, “Prince of Egypt,” on March 31 at 7:30 p.m. The event will be held in Brooks Auditorium and further information can be found on the organization’s Instagram @su_filmclub.
Chloe Pappa announced upcoming applications for SASH members with further information on their Instagram @samfordsash.