Smashed Record (Film Thoughts: On The Record)

poster-780Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick’s ‘On The Record’ was the talk of Sundance early this year. Oprah Winfrey originally executive produced this documentary but pulled her name out last minute – this would have been part of her overall deal with Apple + but HBO Max bought the rights and is one of the features they are releasing as they debut the new streaming service (there are so many now, it seems) I still think that there is more to the story with her pulling her support for the film.

This documentary mainly focuses on Drew Dixon, a woman who worked for Russell Simmons at Def Jam Records. She had real passion for hip hop and had a good eye and ear for talent. She was the head of A & R for the label when she claims she was sexually assaulted by Simmons at his New York City home. She went to work for Arista Records later and was subjected again to sexual harassment from LA Reid, who took over from Clive Davis after the latter stepped down.

I veer towards believing her. Her story seems to be credible, and you can see the trauma and hurt in her eyes, still. Simmons and Reid both deny her allegations, and the documentary seems to almost mention that in passing. I have to say that it would have made for a more balanced film if more of both sides were shown, But what we have here is compelling enough. Ultimately, we either trust or believe what we see (or not)

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