Chains of Custody

Anisha Chadha
2017 | 14 minutes
Country of Production: USA
Country Featured: USA
Director in Attendance

In recent decades, hundreds of thousands of rape kits have gotten caught in the bureaucratic process, shelved, and abandoned. Anisha Chadha’s hometown of Detroit was a major offender in the backlog and she returned home to begin an inquiry into sexual assault response in contemporary America. The result is an alarming exposé that traces the paths of rape kits as they travel through the institutions that survivors contend with when reporting sexual assault.

This screening is part of the Emerging Visual Anthropologists Showcase and will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, and anthropologist Dr. Faye Ginsburg and documentary instructor Dr. Pegi Vail of the New York University Center for Media, Culture and History.

Activate: My Perspective

“This film has activated in me a great appreciation of working among a community you have a long-term engagement with. And this project has, of course, deepened my feminist activist commitments. With the film, I hope to activate a nuanced conversation about sexual assault, the institutions American society has put in place for survivors to navigate, and the different paths a survivor may choose to take after rape. I also hope to activate a conversation about the role of science and medicine can have in propagating or limiting violence, especially against female-bodied people.”   

—  Anisha Chadha | Director, Chains of Custody