Promising Young Woman is one of the most provocative hit films of 2020. It’s an oddly twisted tale of revenge mashed up with a rom-com, though not how audiences would expect. But its message about rape and sexual assault is an important one, even as there’s debate over the film’s ending. Now, the production studio behind Promising Young Woman, Focus Features, has teamed up with RAINN and Campus Circle to show the film on campuses across the nation. Here’s how to watch Promising Young Woman for free and continue the conversation.
Warning: Mild Spoilers for Promising Young Woman follow. Promising Young Woman revolves around Cassie Thomas (Carey Mulligan), a med school dropout living life for revenge. Her life mainly revolves around feigning drunkenness in clubs and when men try to take advantage of her, revealing her sobriety and scaring them witless in hopes of preventing them from doing it again.
What drives Thomas is the memory of her late friend Nina Fisher. Raped by a classmate, Al Monroe, Fisher fell into despair when there was no investigation by the school or legal system and took her own life. Thomas’ ultimate goal is revenge on Al. She aims to get it when she learns he’s engaged and throwing a bachelor party, complete with strippers. She plans to pop out of the cake, and once she has him alone, get revenge for what he did.
Suffice to say, Thomas is successful, just not in the way anyone would expect. But the discussion of how sexual assault is handled is an important one, which is why Focus Features has teamed up to bring the film for free to college campuses across the nation on Thursday, April 15. The screening will be directly followed by a discussion moderated by Laverne Cox, featuring director Emerald Fennell and star Carey Mulligan.
In a press release along with the announcement, RAINN’s Heather Drevna said: "Sexual violence can affect not only the survivor but the people and communities around them. Promising Young Woman has sparked important conversations about the cultural response to sexual assault, healing, justice, and bystander accountability. We thank Focus Features for making Promising Young Woman available to college students, who are at increased risk of sexual violence, to continue this critical dialogue."
There are three screenings on Thursday, April 15, one at 7 p.m. ET, one at 7 p.m. CT, and one at 7 p.m. PT. Screening slots are limited. College students can sign up here.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.
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