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OUT IN THE NIGHT LAFF Movie Review: Timely, Eye-Opening, Jarring

When is a “gang assault” not really a gang assault?

The new documentary Out in the Night follows the New Jersey 4 – a group of 4 women who were charged with gang assault, assault, attempted murder, and more because of a small scuffle one night in Manhattan. A fight that lasted no more than a couple minutes ended up changing these women’s lives forever. While the fight was quick, the media coverage was a firestorm.

The media coined these women as a “Lesbian Gang”, with headlines like “Attack of the Killer Lesbians.” With all the focus on their sexual orientation, there was no mention of how the attack actually started. Were these man-hating lesbians looking for a fight? Or maybe, did the man harass them because his pick-up lines and forward advances go unappreciated?

Following the case in much the same way it unfolded in the courts, the film reveals the crime, the girls, and the aftermath. Oscillating between case footage and interviews with the girls, we slowly start to learn just how insignificant the fight was and how big it was made out to be by the media…then to see just how much time they spent in jail during the prime of their lives is heartbreaking. The film allows us to get to know these women, without overstepping and veering too far into sentimentality or crying for vigilantism. It’s an eye-opening journey through the struggles they faced and ultimate redemption most of them saw in the end.

Out in the Night is playing at Los Angeles Film Festival.

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The Author

Kristal Bailey

Kristal Bailey

With a soft spot for movies that fall into the “So Bad They’re Good” category, Kristal Bailey regularly watches B-movies, 80s comedies, and sci-fi from the 50s and 60s. She also refuses to grow up if that means she has to hide her love for Disney and Pixar films.

In her free time, she enjoys reading graphic novels or books that are soon to be turned into movies, watching hours and hours of television, and spending way too much time on Twitter.