Detroit filmmaker tackles child abuse in new drama


Whether you’re a heavyweight Hollywood producer or an ambitious independent filmmaker, choosing to tell a story on the big screen laden with hard to watch crimes against children and valuable hidden messages is tricky. The movie has to be entertaining (not too preachy) and a certain level of authenticity has to be there so the shock value of the crimes won’t make people walk out the theater.

Enter Bianca – Who Did This To You? The movie held a screening Thursday at the Charles H. Wright Museum and was met with high praise and stirred emotions. The movie tells the story of Bianca, a young woman who went through horrific sexual abuse as a child from people she looked up to as authority figures in her life. The mental and emotional scars from the abuse follow her in marriage and life.

Local director and writer Randy Holloway decided to make the film after reading the eponymous book. “I read the Bianca book in an hour and a half; it would have been faster had I not had to sit the book down after the first seven pages, which apparently happens with everyone who reads the book," he says. "The subject matter was so powerful, and the reach that I knew the film would have would be greater than any other generic mainstream film I could do. It ultimately became not about me but about the people who could use this film as a voice to help them stop the types of abuse represented in this story."

The first 40 minutes of the move contain three scenes that can be considered hard to watch because of the subject matter and because it involves children young as 5 years old. “The general consensus was that the film was beautifully crafted to take you to the line, but it never crosses it, which was exactly what I was aiming for with the production,” Holloway says.

The main takeaways from the movie are that sex crimes and violence do happen against children more than we think. They happen from family members, they happen at churches, and they happen in schools. Bianca forces the viewer to swallow this bitter pill for the reality that it is. And in the end, more conversations, legislation, counseling, arrest, and mental health treatment will happen.

Bianca – Who Did This To You? will have its next screening at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at AMC Star Southfield, 25333 Twelve Mile Rd., Southfield.

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