Abstract: Through a close reading of 'The Accused' (Dir. Jonathan Kaplan, 1988 USA), this article examines courtroom and cinematic testimony as distinct forms of bearing witness to rape. The article also explores the relationship that exists between the film's representation of rape and the real life 1983 New Bedford gang rape on which it is partly based. The arguments draw upon Dori Laub's conception of an 'event without a witness' to address issues arising around the inside versus the outside of an event, such as a rape, in relation to efforts to attest to it. The article also investigates whether the film is complicit with patriarchy and whether, through its representation of brutality, the film can be seen to enact violence against women. The article concludes by addressing the neglected role of the acoustic in 'The Accused'. It contends that it is through the film's soundtrack as much as by way of its visuals that the horror of rape is borne witness to
To cite this article: Chare, Nicholas. Testimony on Trial: Reviewing Rape in 'The Accused' [online]. Southern Review: Communication, Politics & Culture, Vol. 40, No. 3, 2008: 68-83.
[cited 04 May 16].