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The Rape of Recy Taylor — chastening, shocking

The Rape of Recy Taylor — chastening, shocking

May 23
23:44 2018

Recy Taylor, pictured in 1944

There are a lot of ghosts crying “We too” in the back-history to today’s most prominently headlined wrong-redressing movement in the US. Recy Taylor died last December, two years shy of 100. But her rape by seven men in Alabama on a night in 1944 became a torch to the civil liberties movement, and now flares bright again in the #MeToo epoch.

Documentarist Nancy Buirski gives old events a new force. Much of The Rape of Recy Taylor is a spectral montage of archive footage and photos, punctuated — or punched into — by the calmly stated yet strongly felt rage of Recy’s surviving family. Rosa Parks, a civil rights activist before her historic bus protest, also features, though no longer among us. She descended on Alabama to confront the case and campaign for justice. It’s a strong film: chastening, shocking, steeped in fractious ironies. Two of the rapists lived on to become decorated war heroes.


The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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