Film Review: Six Angry Women
By edhat staff
Directed by Megan Jones
Written by Megan Jones
Starring Mark Huston, Sophie Lindsay, Oribe Maipi-Tuakere, Tineke Ann Robson, Brooke Petersen, Gabe Wright, Freya Finch, Courtney Bassett
Country: New Zealand
The documentary Six Angry Women looks deeper into the 1984 New Zealand event where six women kidnapped, beat up, and chained a university lecturer to a tree.
The fascinating part of this event is these women were never caught and have never come forward, however, the film unfolds the reasoning behind why they took this violent action to begin with.
The film describes the tension that was brewing in New Zealand in the mid 80's, specifically in Auckland and the nearby university. There was a sharp increase in sexual assaults and rapes to the point where police were telling women to stay indoors. The men who were caught were rarely prosecuted as those in charge, mostly men, centered the blame on the women for the men's actions. This created an intense debate about gender politics with feminist and LGBTQ groups leading the charge.
A list was created of several male professors at Auckland University who had a reputation for sexual harassment, assault, and rape. Six women wearing masks abducted theatre director Mervyn Thompson, beat him, stripped his clothes, and chained him to a tree before bystanders scared the attackers off. Police investigated the crime of vigilante justice but nearly 37 years later have been unable to solve the crime.
Director and filmmaker Megan Jones reopens the case and tries to find out not only who the six women were, but what drove them to take such unprecedented action.
This was a very interesting documentary that did a great job presenting a balanced perspective of vigilante justice. Many women who were activists during the time of this event shared their stories, but none of them gave up details on who the mysterious six female attackers were.
The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG, will take place March 31st through April 10th, 2021 online and at two free ocean-front drive-in theatres. More information, festival passes and tickets are available at.