raw deal: a question of consent
Raw Deal is one of the most exposing and controversial documentaries about rape and fraternity life today. Billy Corben's remarkable exposé on the contested rape of 27-year-old Lisa Gier King in Gainesville, Florida, is sure to provoke heated discussions everywhere about rape, women's rights, and male privilege.
On Friday, February 26, 1999, Delta Chi frat brothers at the University of Florida held a party at their fraternity house and hired exotic dancer Lisa Gier King to perform. The following morning, a half-naked and distraught King ran from the house, claiming that Michael Yarhaus had raped her. Her most startling allegation was that frat brother Tony Marzullo had videotaped the crime.
Two days later, King herself was arrested for filing a false police report after authorities claimed the rape showed "clearly willing and consensual sex."
The community was stunned by King's arrest after it was discovered that the videotape showed Marzullo himself repeatedly addressing the camera to gleefully describe that what he was witnessing was a rape.
Under pressure from the media and Campus NOW to charge the frat brothers with rape, State Attorney Rod Smith arrogantly responded by making the tape available to the public so people could "make up their own minds."
Filmmaker Billy Corben takes Smith's challenge and presents the scandalizing, sexually explicit footage alongside interviews of participants involved with the case to conduct an investigation the police never did. The result is a shocking insight on fraternity life and the politically constructed nature of "the truth."
Film Threat: “One of the most compelling pieces of non-fiction ever produced.”
Variety: “Compulsively watchable"
The Scotsman: “A remarkable documentary"
The Miami Herald: “Disturbing, utterly absorbing"
Yahoo! Movies: “One of the most powerful docs I've ever seen."
iO Film: “A harrowing and unnerving experience"
Spiked: “A remarkable documentary"
Financial Times - Day 3 Raw Deal: "No film festival is complete without controversy"
The Scotsman - City Hosts UK's First Showing of 'Rape' Film: "A controversial documentary including footage of an alleged rape is set to have what could be its only British showing at the Film Festival from tonight."
St. Petersburg Times - The Surreal Whirl that is Sundance: "Alfred Spellman's and Billy Corben's documentary Raw Deal: A Question of Consent arrived at the festival on a whirlwind of controversy and left with a distribution deal."
St. Petersburg Times - FIlm Documents Controversial UF Fraternity Party: "Two Miami filmmakers are making waves at a prestigious film festival with a documentary based on a 1999 incident at a University of Florida fraternity house."
Orlando Weekly - "No" Means "Go:" "The Florida Film Festival encountered unexpected controversy Tuesday, when a legal representative of Artisan Entertainment allegedly faxed festival staffers a 23-page "cease and desist" order mandating that they not screen the documentary Raw Deal: A Question of Consent, which was scheduled to be shown that night at the Colonial Promenade."
LA Times - Sex Case Documentary Sirring Up Audiences: "Explicitness of footage shot during campus incident has angered some moviegoers."
Entertainment Weekly - Sundance Film Festival Recap: "It's the ultra-explicit reality show you'll never see on TV - a shockumentary that forever shatters the boundaries of what a theatrical feature can, should, and will depict."
New York Post - "Raw Deal" Furor Prompts Bidding Frenzy: "A bidding war erupted yesterday at the Sundance Film Festival as studios scrambled to buy a documentary containing shocking footage of frat-house sex, including an alleged rape."
The Nation - The West Indies: "Once Raw Deal played Sundance, the New York Post splashed it all over its front page..."
The Hot Button - "One of the Most Important Documentaries in at Least a Decade:" "Raw Deal: A Question of Consent is everything the buzz says it is and more."
City Beat - Five of the best films from Sundance 2001 are coming to a theater near you
City Beat - Party on Dude!: "Can't Buy Me Buzz. The headline of the Jan. 25 New York Post says it all: "Rape, Lies and Videotape -- Victim relives horror caught live on frat house tape." With that one story, Raw Deal: A Question of Consent, a documentary about an accused rape at the University of Florida, has become the official "buzz" film of Sundance 2001."
Orlando Sentinel - Dispute Nearly Stops Edgy Film: "The show did go on Tuesday night at the 11th annual Florida Film Festival. But it almost didn't. Because of a dispute between the filmmakers and the company that claims North American distribution rights, Raw Deal: A Question of Consent was nearly pulled from the festival program at the Colonial Promenade 6. "