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Will Movie Reviews Require Trigger Warnings?

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This critic’s take on “What Is a Woman?” stood as the only professional review of the Daily Wire production at Rotten Tomatoes.

Until now.

Two new reviews posted recently, one from CineGods.com, the other via Film Threat. The latter is a long-running indie film magazine turned web site known for defying authority for art’s sake.

Both are positive in nature. The Film Threat treatise, though, offers something unusual to the format.

An official Trigger Warning.

If you have issues with the questioning of the Trans lifestyle, open debate about it, and/or criticisms about Trans-related topics, then you probably shouldn’t read this review and direct your attention to something safer.

The subsequent review is traditional in nature, even though it ends with a personal note critiquing the critics.

The site’s Trigger Warning may be part of the editorial message, a tongue in cheek response to those unwilling to screen the movie in question. It sounds like a variation of Netflix’s free speech manifesto, which ended with this refrain:

“If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”

Still, could review trigger warnings become normalized in the months to come? Should the next Michael Moore documentary, assuming he shoots a follow-up to his 2018 film, “Fahrenheit 11/9,” require something similar for pro-capitalist readers?

What about a story involving a trans romance? A conservative hero who vanquishes a Bernie Sanders’-like villain?

Some people flinch at stories that overlap their own personal tragedies. Would a grandfather who watched his bride lose her fight with Alzheimer’s disease watch a movie where it plays into the narrative?

The Trigger Warning application is noteworthy because the vast majority of film critics refused to watch, let alone review, “What Is a Woman?” 

Even more concerning?

Letterboxd is reportedly hiding reviews of the film from its readership, according to Society Reviews founder Jacob Smith.

Will more film critics attempt to screen, and review, “What Is a Woman?” regardless of their opinion of the actual film? Or will we see the film critic community lock down and refuse to appraise a movie that’s grabbed the zeitgeist like few others in recent memory?





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