The Drinking Game (2017)
The Drinking Game, written and directed by Sarah Noire, produced by Lyve Corner, is a short film based on a true story, that explores how manipulation, peer pressure, fear, as well as other factors, lead to the rape of a female student. The film is relatable and targeted to a large audience ranging from around the ages of 14 and over.
On many occasions, we often overlook the story leading up to how a rape or sexual assault has taken place, and only focus on the ending of the narrative. The Drinking Game intentionally focuses on the build-up leading to the rape from the perpetrators perspective, rather than the victim, as it is crucial for people to see how easy it is for a person to be placed in a situation where they are blindsided to the intentions of others.
Peer Pressure and manipulation are major factors in the narrative from the very beginning. We see how easily peer pressure and manipulation where the driving forces leading to the rape. In psychology, there is a theory called “Gradual commitment’ (Milgram study, 1963), which shows how people can be manipulated to obey, even when they don’t want to. Gradual commitment can be used as tool to manipulate others, by getting them to agree to small request, to the point where they find it hard to decline bigger, more serious requests, as they have said yes leading up to that point. We see this tool being used by the antagonist throughout the entire film. With that being said, the audience are able to see how easy it is for perpetrators to manipulate a situation.
Fear is also one of the biggest themes towards the end of ‘The Drinking Game’, as it demonstrates on fear can paralyse someone. “The fight or flight” theory (Walter Canon, 1920s), explains how the body shuts down when in stressful situations such as sexual abuse. Many rape victims often explain how they did not react or do anything during their assaults, which shows how important it is for “fight or flight” to be considered when speaking on rape and to not blame the victim for “allowing” the assault, as we do not know how the individual reacts to fear.
The Drinking Game also shows how there are incorrect misunderstanding on what consent is, and when it has been given. “She didn’t say no” is a statement that must be void in 2017, as well as other excuses, and the correct statement people need to look out for is “Did she say yes?” It’s important for us to learn the correct ways of receiving consent, giving consent and withdrawing consent through communication. There is a lack of education on consent, which is something that should be taught from early on. I also believe that we need to learn how to help people who find it difficult to say no when they find themselves in situations that trigger their fight or flight mode.
There are other themes that are explored throughout “The Drinking Game”, that will hopefully give the audience a new perspective on how they view rape and consent, even if it’s just on from watching this short film, based on one scenario. I also feel that the film can open a forum for discussion, and allow people to share their thoughts, feelings and opinions, even if they aren’t to some aspects of the film, or the entire film as a whole. The aim is to get people talking, thinking, learning and teaching.
For more content on rape and consent, please explore my campaign page.
Sarah Noire xoxo