Raw Deal is one of the most exposing and controversial documentaries about rape and fraternity life today. Billy Corben’s remarkable exposé on the contested rape of 27-year-old Lisa Gier King in Gainesville, Florida, is sure to provoke heated discussions everywhere about rape, women’s rights, and male privilege.
On Friday, February 26, 1999, Delta Chi frat brothers at the University of Florida held a party at their fraternity house and hired exotic dancer Lisa Gier King to perform. The following morning, a half-naked and distraught King ran from the house, claiming that Michael Yarhaus had raped her. Her most startling allegation was that frat brother Tony Marzullo had videotaped the crime.
Two days later, King herself was arrested for filing a false police report after authorities claimed the rape showed “clearly willing and consensual sex.”
The community was stunned by King’s arrest after it was discovered that the videotape showed Marzullo himself repeatedly addressing the camera to gleefully describe that what he was witnessing was a rape.
Under pressure from the media and Campus NOW to charge the frat brothers with rape, State Attorney Rod Smith arrogantly responded by making the tape available to the public so people could “make up their own minds.”
Filmmaker Billy Corben takes Smith’s challenge and presents the scandalizing, sexually explicit footage alongside interviews of participants involved with the case to conduct an investigation the police never did. The result is a shocking insight on fraternity life and the politically constructed nature of “the truth.”
Film Threat: “One of the most compelling pieces of non-fiction ever produced.”
St. Petersburg Times - Film Documents Controversial UF Fraternity Party: “Two Miami filmmakers are making waves at a prestigious film festival with a documentary based on a 1999 incident at a University of Florida fraternity house.”
Variety: “Compulsively watchable”
Eye For Film: “It is a harrowing and unnerving experience watching this documentary”
The Guardian: “One of the most striking things about this film is how opinion is radically divided”
The Miami Herald: “Disturbing, utterly absorbing”
Yahoo! Movies: “One of the most powerful docs I’ve ever seen”
The Hot Button: “One of the Most Important Documentaries in at Least a Decade. Raw Deal: A Question of Consent is everything the buzz says it is and more.”
Entertainment Weekly - Sundance Film Festival Recap: “It’s the ultra-explicit reality show you’ll never see on TV - a shockumentary that forever shatters the boundaries of what a theatrical feature can, should, and will depict.”
New York Post - “Raw Deal” Furor Prompts Bidding Frenzy: “A bidding war erupted yesterday at the Sundance Film Festival as studios scrambled to buy a documentary containing shocking footage of frat-house sex, including an alleged rape.”