PARK CITY, Utah — Harvey Weinstein is back at Sundance, only this time, he’s not the one calling the shots.
The disgraced movie mogul is the subject of a new documentary that premiered Friday at the mountainside film festival, where activist Rose McGowan alleges he raped her more than 20 years ago.
Although McGowan herself does not appear in “Untouchable,” the movie features nearly a dozen other testimonies from women who have accused Weinstein of sexual assault, including actresses Rosanna Arquette and Paz de la Huerta, who have been at the forefront of the #MeToo movement. Other stories are less familiar, such as that of Hope Exiner d’Amore, who alleges that Weinstein raped her in a hotel room in the 1970s while he was working as a concert promoter.
“Untouchable” offers no new incriminating details about Weinstein, who recently tapped Casey Anthony and Kobe Bryant’s lawyers for an upcoming sexual assault case in New York. And while the film is perfectly content to rehash the work of Ronan Farrow and other journalists who helped take Weinstein down, that in no way diminishes the power of seeing his alleged victims emotionally recount their experiences on camera.
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The most fascinating bits of the film are interviews with ex-Miramax employees, who offer a window into what it was like to work under Weinstein at the since-shuttered distributor behind Oscar winners including “Shakespeare in Love” and “The English Patient.” Their boss’ sex life was shrugged off as mere water-cooler gossip, and everyone had horror stories about his infamous temper — the most petulant tantrum was captured by a journalist, when Weinstein called himself the “(expletive) sheriff of this (expletive) town.”
Most of all, they have complicated feelings about their time at Miramax. While Weinstein’s former colleagues give him credit for his marketing genius and advancing their careers, they also feel guilty that he destroyed so many others for his victims.
If there’s one interview director Ursula Macfarlane wishes she could’ve gotten for “Untouchable,” it would’ve been Weinstein himself.
“We would’ve loved Harvey to be in the film so he could answer to these allegations and tell us about himself,” Macfarlane said at a post-screening Q&A. After he declined their requests, they resorted to using voiceovers pulled from his past interviews. “It felt more dramatic than to just watch him in a news clip. There’s something quite haunting about it, because his presence loomed large.”