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When actress-director-writer Ida Lupino came into the world a hundred years ago, there was little serious dialogue around issues of sexual assault and harassment. In her centennial year, however, a series of horrifying revelations about the prevalence of sexual abuse makes her pioneering 1950 consideration of the subject particularly relevant. In this film, small town girl Ann Walton (Mala Powers) is initially harassed by a casual acquaintance before being raped by him. The resulting reaction from her neighbors and boyfriend leads her to run off to build a new life, then attack a man whose crude advances brings on flashbacks of her assault. Lupino shoots the chase leading up to the rape as if she were making a film noir, with distorted angles and high-contrast photography heightening the suspense. In the script she co-wrote with Collier Young and Malvin Wald, she focuses on the psychological fallout, creating a powerful depiction of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) long before the term was widely known. As one of Hollywood’s most underappreciated actresses, Lupino had spent most of the ‘40s at Warner Bros. often as a backup whenever Bette Davis refused a role. When her contract ended, she set out to produce and eventually direct her own films—a rarity for women during the era—focusing on serious issues like rape, illegitimacy and corruption in sports in a series of low-budget films that are now highly regarded. (d. Ida Lupino, 75m, 35mm)

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