‘Raw Deal’ is a Raw deal

The movie Raw Deal has been swimming with so much controversy ever since it premiered at Sundance last year that it’s quite a shocker that it’s finally made it to the big screen.

The release had been delayed due to copyright infringement issues, but now, after months of waiting, the University of Miami got to view first hand the racy documentary made by fellow UM students, complete with uncensored rape footage.

The movie follows the travails of a fraternity (which, by the way, if there was any doubt in your mind that fraternities should be disbanded, this movie will solidify the opinion) whose members raped an exotic dancer.

Made in the style of an E! “True Hollywood Story,” the only thing that separates this from such fare is the actual footage of the rape the documentarians were able to obtain.

Just how brutal is the footage?

Well, it’s quite shocking, complete with hardcore nudity from both parties, including (yes, you got it) an erection. It’s almost pornography, but the whole sleaziness and grotesqueness of the rape itself keeps the movie from being anything close to titillating.

We see interviews from the president of the fraternity and the rape victim and members from NOW, who protested after the rape victim herself got thrown in jail for “false accusations.”

Much of the fun of the film comes from the interviewees saying contradictory things than that of what the footage says. The best line, by far, comes from the sleazy president of the fraternity (who has the look and attitude of a low life politician) who says, after the audience has viewed him getting lap dances from various girls, “I would never sleep with that girl, I only sleep with people of a certain social class.”

A certain social class? So, say, not of the class of someone who orders strippers for their frat houses?

In the end more questions are raised than answered, and we’re left to believe maybe it was a rape and maybe it wasn’t, but basically the system involved with the inquiry mishandled everything.

The documentarians themselves seem quite wishy-washy on the issue, first making the stripper look bad, then making the fraternity boys look bad- and then just everybody.

It’s quite mean-spirited, yet interesting and disgusting. It’s almost like playing football in the rain with your worst enemies – you kind of like the game, but afterwards you just feel disconnected, worn out, and muddy.

March 1, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.