The all new HBO series Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes, has been aspired ( more or less carbon copied) from Ronan Farrow’s book, “Catch and Kill” and his podcast under the same name. Both of these things were based on the Harvey Weinsteins case and Farrow’s struggle to bring gross misconduct into the light.
The series centers around Harvey Weinstein, the co-founder of the entertainment company Miramax, which is known for producing films like “Pulp Fiction”, “Shakespeare in Love”, “The crying Baby”. Harvey Weinstein was brought down from his pedestal in the movie industry and sentenced to 23 years in jail for rape and sexual assault in New York.
He currently faces an 11-count indictment in Los Angeles, based on the charges that he assaulted 5 women, But he still pleads not guilty to them all. District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said. “Weinstein is a vicious, serial sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault, and trick, humiliate and silence his victims.” To know more about the case visit.
His arrest and guilty verdict was one of the major push to the #MeeTooMovement, that brought forth the darkness that lurked behind the entertainment facade of the film industry ( largely in the form of Casting Couch). The jury of seven men and five women found Harvey Weinstein guilty of raping a struggling actress, in Newyork city in 2013 and sexually assaulting Mimi Haleyi, production assistant in 2006. When such stories finally got justice, more voices were seen being raised against such horrendous crimes.
For publishing the truth and exposing powerful sexual predators The New York Times and The New Yorker, even won the Pultizer Prize. And in 2019 journalist Ronan Farrow published a book and a podcast “Catch and Kill”, “Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes” about the same.
The HBO series Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes co-directed and produced by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, essentially is a video version of the podcast mentioned above. It is a documentary, with six episodes, involving the victims of sexual misconduct, the reporters, the editors, and everything they have to say about the Harvey Weinstein case.
The episodes take us through the journey and struggle of bringing this case to light, where they mention power struggle in every obstacle they face. The first episode focuses on Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, the woman who against all odds recorded Weinstein’s harassment and was one of the first victims to go to the police. She recalls facing Weinstein’s attorneys and creating a backup recording which she “gave” to Farrow.
In the second episode, we get acquainted with veteran reporters, Kim Masters and Ken Auletta, who talk about how they couldn’t find enough evidence to get hold of this story ages ago.
Overall the series takes us through the same journey as the podcast. The repetitive, stock images, swirling black ink, close-up images of recorders are something that this documentary also has abundant of. The series mentions that some new information might breakthrough, never-before-seen footage but such claims are hardly held up by the actual documentary. Even if they are, they are not the center stage of the documentary.
In conclusion, the series might not have anything new to offer other than in the words of Bailey, co-founder with Barbato “until you look at Rose McGowan, Rowena Chiu, Ambra Gutierrez, Rosanna Arquette in the eyes, that is going to be a very different experience for you.” “Because you’re going to know that they’re telling the truth,” he says. “And then, once you know that they’re telling the truth, it then becomes shocking that so many people were telling the truth, and yet it took all this for the story to become public.”
It is a story that needs to be told and listened to, by everyone, It is a cry for help but more than that it is a battle cry against all those who think they can get away with such heinous crimes. If you have not read the book and are not known to the podcast, then you will find something truly unbelievable in this series.