Friday, April 26, 2019

Ariela Rubin on At The Heart of Gold (2019)

This was a heavy documentary to watch. It’s about the sexual abuse that occurred in the USA gymnastics involving team doctor Larry Nassar  who molested thousands of women.

It made my heart hurt, and made me cry a lot! Especially during the Court trial where the women came forward and shared their “victim impact statements”. What was to be only a few, ended with 156 women sharing their stories. It was heartbreaking listening. Tears streamed down my eyes.

The documentary shows old gymnastics footage, interviews with some of the gymnasts, and other key players, and the trial.

We’re told that gymnastics is both mentally and physically difficult. Some say it’s the most physically demanding sport. There’s intense training and a lot of pressure. You’re taught to be a soldier, to not show or tell anyone about your pain.

Larry Nassar was a Doctor for gymnastics for 20 years. He was seen as a guardian angel. While the coaches were tough, and insulting towards the girls, he was friendly, he was everyone’s friend, people loved him. He helped the girls with their pain, and they believed that his “treatments” were medically necessary for them to get better.

Even after the media attention of sexual abuse, some girls defended him. They really believed he was a good guy, but then realized they were brainwashed into thinking they were being helped medically.

The documentary was really well made. My heart still hurts after watching this. It’s really heartbreaking to know so many women were abused from this one man, and that he got away with it for so many years, and that people who knew turned a blind eye. Hopefully this case will inspire other women to come forward, and also for people to believe victims.

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