Brave Miss World Review – Gripping, Powerful, Compelling Stories of Survival

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"Brave Miss World," from Rocket Girl Productions and Reif Entertainment, presents the harrowing survival story of Linor Abargil, a beauty queen, who was raped and abducted six weeks before being crowned Miss World 1998.

In association with Artemis Rising Foundation, "Brave Miss World," is directed by Cecilia Park and not only documents Ms. Abargil's stories but weaves into the film the stories of many other survivors who found the bravery and courage to move forward, to report the crimes, all the while knowing the second rape would begin the moment the detectives became involved and possibly never end.

We meet Ms. Abargil as she is walking into a press conference, ten years later, telling the world what happened to her six weeks before she was crowned Miss World 1998.

Linor Abargil is sexy; glamorous. At the time of the rape she was a model and actress. With smoky eyes, gorgeous features, a cover girl, photographed in barely there, skimpy apparel. She was the adulation of men and sexually confused women around the world. Photographed for television ads topless, a stunning beauty and she was raped.

The clothes she wore, her profession, her magazine covers, her curvaceous figure, none of these variables made it her fault. She did not ask for it. Her clothing; her notoriety; her life or lifestyle was not a come on or secret mental consent. She was a victim of a brutal, vicious assault.

"Brave Miss World" begins, with flashes of the evidence in Ms. Abargil's case. Raped in Milan, an Israeli Ms. Abargil was on her way home. She received a ride to the train station from the owner of the modeling agency and he drove her to a secluded area, raped her, attempted to suffocate her, stabbed her and then drove her to the train.

Linor Abargil knew her attacker. For many that search for ways to rationalize their crimes, that fact and the fact that she asked him for a ride proved she wanted him and of course, was too timid to ask. 

The horror of that night left her paralyzed with fear, incapacitated. Throughout the film, when the subject turns to her attacker and the possibility of parole she becomes momentarily in that mentally catatonic state without the inability to articulate emotions, feelings and words. 

"Brave Miss World" documents rape statistics around the world and travels to all points of the globe relaying the same stories, the same violence, attempts to stifle, to silence, to kill. The actions of the rapist are meant to kill whether a physical death or an emotional death. Rape is the silent killer of the human spirit.

Individuals from an FBI Profiler to celebrities, including Joan Collins and Fran Drescher to a blind women whose story was stunning, to girls in South Africa, to Milan, to LA, to NYC, to Israel. Women, girls, men from all walks of life everywhere telling, finally, freeing themselves from the prison the perpetrators has placed them.

A blind female, explained her story and the shocking insensitivity of the judicial system when told by a Cleveland Detective that because she was blind and couldn't identify her attacker she was out of luck and there was nothing they could do for her.

For some this is the first time they have spoken to anyone, for others they remember the attempts at justice, and even more shocking for others the responses of the local law enforcement.

The judicial system is disturbing and overloaded. The film painted a picture of an overwhelmed system, that doesn't have the time, resources or inclination to pursue justice for each and every rape victim.

Attempting to separate myself from the subject matter, as a long time champion of Justice for Victim X it was difficult to watch and hear the same lack of judicial concern not only in the United States but also globally.

Women have a better chance of exacting justice if they can kill the attacker during the commission of the crime. And more victims are willing to fight for freedom even if the attacker presents a weapon.

"Brave Miss World" also included Fran Drescher and Joan Collins, both of who recounted their attacks. Ms. Collins explains that at the age of 17 she was raped and had no idea what to do after and it was obvious that she still had the momentary lapse, back to the mental place, when the attack occurred. Her story is not spoken of often and was surprising. 

When we meet Ms. Drescher, she uses her natural comedic talent to diffuse the seriousness of the situation and as the interview continues becomes more tearful, describing the viciousness of her attack.

As with all the victims, Ms. Collins and Ms. Drescher spoke with candor and bravery and didn't shy away from expressing the details, in language that was comfortable to them. The stories are riveting.

Some women were pixilated still, and rightly so, concerned to show their face for fear of intimidation, career assassination, continued taunting, attacks or bullying to the point of inducing suicide. Others spoke of a private, enduring, pain that had never been voiced until now.

"Brave Miss World," is very well made. The opening sequences are attention grabbing and has the film moves and shifts from Linor to the other women to celebrities to her transition from secular to observant and model/actress to law student/lawyer the documentary doesn't lose its grip.

AlthoughLinor receives justice, the majority of those in the film do not. "Brave Miss World" is a scathing indictment on the world judicial process, exposing the need for sensitivity training by first responders, police, detectives and prosecutors. 

"Brave Miss World" is gripping. It is a powerful testament to triumph of the human spirit. The stories are heart wrenching, the failure of the legal system and the excuses given to victims shocking, the trauma unimaginable.

"Brave Miss World" is playing in select cities and can be seen on VOD, DVD and other streaming platforms. See it if you can.

For more information: www.bravemissoworld.com

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