The Soul-Crushing Netflix Documentary We’re All Going to Have to Watch: Audrie & Daisy


I usually try to keep things on the lighter side around here, but there are things we can’t ignore. Before going any further, I’d like to let you know this trailer may be upsetting and triggering (I cried); it discusses sexual assault.

I’ve spent the past several days and still continue to read in-depth about Nate Parker, the Birth of a Nation filmmaker and actor who, along with his friend and co-writer Jean McGianni Celestin, was accused of raping a college student in 1999. There are people who relate that disturbing story and its lingering effects much better than I can, so suffice to say it is part of several ongoing conversations about rape, its culture, and the often-intertwined adoration and near idolatry of our country’s athletes. Without spiraling off into a dozen different directions, the school Parker and Celestin attended was none other than Penn State, home and protector of Jerry Sandusky.

And what has all this to do with a Netflix documentary? Well, in the midst of an online discussion about yet another college rapist/athlete whose life was deemed too important to destroy by a judge, I came upon this trailer for Audrie & Daisy. It’s impossible to convey the fear already in my heart at the mere thought of sending my two girls to college one day … of trying to warn them of this inexplicable threat that lies in wait without causing them undue wariness at every new experience. How do you teach your children to be open-hearted and adventurous and exploratory; to love all people and not judge them by their “covers;” while still conveying a need for awareness and self-protection? At what point must you crush their trusting nature and tell them of a dark side much uglier than Star Wars enemies? My oldest daughter is outwardly stoic and generally a realist, but my younger literally skips through this world with sunshine and love bursting from her; I can’t bear to even think about any such future conversation. But I must. And I must watch this documentary. We’re all going to have to make ourselves watch Audrie & Daisy, because we owe it to our girls — sisters, girlfriends, lovers, pals — to watch what happens when someone we’re close to is assaulted. And make no mistake: the odds of that are crushingly high.

Audrie & Daisy is directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk; it premieres on Netflix September 23rd.

Additionally, a statement released by The Women’s Law Project — the group that brought a civil suit against Penn State on behalf of Parker and Celestin’s now deceased victim (she committed suicide in 2012) — speaks to the need for our country to update our sex crime laws and “archaic” notions:

The criminal justice system must free itself of pervasive bias and victim-blaming … Our college campuses, appropriately reminded of their obligations under Title IX by the Office for Civil Rights in 2011, need to comply in both word and practice with the law and strive to prevent sexual misconduct and harassment so students—all students–can fully benefit from their education.

Read it in full here.

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been writing about the entertainment industry for ​over eight years, and is the ​Editor-in-Chief at Oohlo, where she muses over television, movies, and pop culture. Previous Senior News Editor at Pajiba, and published at BUST.

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  • HasenKlub

    I’ll make myself watch it, but I’m also trying to prepare myself for the inevitable feelings horror/sadness/extreme anger tat is sure to bring up in me.

  • Valhallaback Girl

    I hate to say that something like this should be required viewing in high school for sex-ed, but it really, and unfortunately, should be required viewing in high school for sex ed.

  • emmalita

    I think the best thing you can do as a parent is be honest and open with your kids about the world – bad and good. I grew up knowing that my father and grandmother had been victims of domestic violence. I understood that my father made a choice not to hit us. My parents made sure I knew that controlling behavior, jealousy and sexual coercion were not a sign that he really loved me. They made sure I knew that whether I had sex or not was my choice – virginity was not a virtue, but sex had potential consequences and I should be sure I was ready. None of these were planned conversations, they developed organically in response to things that were happening around us, or things we saw on tv or at the movies.

    I will watch this documentary, but the trailer alone made me start crying.

  • HasenKlub

    The part of the trailer that really got me were all those “notification sounds” and how they just kept getting more frequent.

    I run a soccer group for which I occasionally have to organize massive ticket purchases. I’ve experienced the stress that can come from that sound due to each little chime meaning I have one more thing to add to my stress. But, that is always just momentary, and ultimately for something that is fun. I can only barely begin to comprehend how horrible that sound would be if each time it brought one more message of hate, one more stab at my character, one more suggestion that the world would be better without me. If I had to live that every day, I cannot sit here and honestly say that I wouldn’t start contemplating giving in to the idea myself.

    I’m just assuming that this is probably going to break me completely. I don’t have kids myself, but I’ve been a part of my best friend’s daughter’s life since like three days after she was born (her sister being the goddaughter I spoke of in the Little Prince post yesterday), and she’ll be getting to this age in a few short years. She’s got a great head on her shoulders and I think she be ok, but it still is something that terrifies me.