#MeToo has ingrained in us the power of using your voice. Of speaking out when you are assaulted – it’s more important now than ever. Words have much power, and in the wake of trauma with so much taken away, what remains are the words. What remains is your story. Netflix are turning to journalism for its next new series, based on Pulitzer Prize-winning article, ‘An Unbelievable Story of Rape.’ It is a must-watch.
Unbelievable tells the true story of Marie, an American teenager who was charged with false reporting in 2009 after retracting an allegation of rape. The reasons behind Marie’s sudden change of story were unsettling, and her case became entangled in an investigation that spanned two years and multiple state police departments before it was finally solved by two female detectives.
She said she believed it was a dream but that she felt it had happened to her. And that’s where the story starts. Her name was reported by the media. She was isolated, distressed. Even those close to her had their doubts. Why did she do it, is what they wondered? She couldn’t answer them, because as it turned out, the answer wasn’t that simple.
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When teenager Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever) files a police report claiming she’s been sexually assaulted by an intruder in her home, the investigating detectives, as well as the people closest to her, come to doubt the truth of her story. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, detectives Grace Rasmussen and Karen Duvall (played by the brilliant Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) meet while investigating an eerily similar pair of intruder rapes and partner to catch a potential serial rapist.
It’s up to them to uncover the truth.
Written by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich), the series is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning article about Marie’s case. An Unbelievable Story of Rape was published on the website ProPublica in 2016, after two journalists began investigating the history of false rape allegations.
They were shocked by what they found.
The series is also inspired by the real events in The Marshall Project and the This American Life radio episode, Anatomy of Doubt, Cholodenko.
To say more would give too much away, but this tells of unspeakable trauma, unwavering tenacity, astounding resilience and must be seen.
Main photograph: Netflix