This Changes Everything, directed by Tom Donahue, is a timely new documentary about the gender divide that plagues the film industry in Hollywood today. Featuring interviews with leading activists and figures in Hollywood, such as Geena Davis and Meryl Streep, this is a must-see for anyone who is interested in the goings on of the movie industry.
Of course, this film is all about promoting inclusivity in the movie industry. Unfortunately, not enough people are aware of this issue that is so prevalent right now (although the amount of discussion has been increasing), so this documentary will be a useful tool in informing those who are oblivious to the issue.
Since this film is coming out on the heels of the Times Up movement, it really couldn’t have come at a better time. This truly is one of the most important issues in the entertainment world right now, so it is almost surprising that this movie doesn’t have a higher profile. The fact that the film drew so many big names to take part in it shows the relevance that this has.
The main way through which the movie conveys its message is interviews with actresses and filmmakers who have experienced this gender discrimination and are working to combat it. Some of the stories that these women tell are very interesting and shine light on the systemic discrimination that has been dominant for so long.
That said, the movie seems to only discuss the issue without providing any real potential solutions. Towards the end of the film, some of the interviewees begin to discuss wanting to move towards 50/50 representation behind the camera, which is the direction in which the industry needs to go, but how is it going to get there? That is the question that needs to be answered.
Additionally, since the movie provides these issues without solutions, it eventually starts to feel repetitive. On one hand, the fact that all of these women have such similar stories is pretty terrifying to think about, because it shows just how bad and widespread the issue is. It also means that we are hearing the same thing over and over again for an hour and a half, though, and that does begin to get old.
On a technical level, the film is mostly fine, if somewhat standard. Donahue’s movie takes the form of a very traditional, talking-head interview-based documentary. While that isn’t a bad thing, especially because the interviews are competently-shot, you can’t help but feel that this story and these women deserve something more. For a film about breaking the barriers of tradition, this movie sure is pretty traditional.
This Changes Everything is an interesting commentary on a very important issue. Although it may not be as in-depth or meaningful as it hopes to be, it still feels like a relevant film that has the potential to make a real impact should enough people see it.
This Changes Everything opens in theaters on August 9 and hits VOD on August 16.