Celebrity

Review | Phoenix Rising: Evan Rachel Wood reveals she was abused in Marilyn Manson clip in shocking HBO documentary

Movie watched at Sundance Film Festival 2022 Follow Wikistardom for more updates.

Among fragments of a collection of painful memories shared by Instagram, actress Evan Rachel Wood brought to the world the name of the one who for so many years had brutally and violently abused her. Suspicions already pointed to her name, but it had not even been publicly verbalized and addressed. Marilyn Manson, the one we grew up seeing part of the world idolize, would be the alleged aggressor. And once Wood’s dreaded Pandora’s Box had been opened, it would never close again.

The actress of the acclaimed series Westworld guarantees this through her new documentary Phoenix Rising, in which she punctually details her struggle with her traumatic past, as she acts as an active voice against the Statute of Limitation, which sets a deadline for sexual abuse survivors to report abusers. Throughout its first installment, Wood and her friend revisit the artist’s troubled past, who had her innocence and naivety allegedly stolen from the hands of a musician who – in his madness and perversity widely celebrated on his albums and shows – has always been praised by his so-called “boldness” and aggressive obscenity.

Here, filmmaker Amy Berg brings a unique and particular sensibility to Wood’s narrative, as she also introduces us to the actress and singer’s origins, long before her much-feared trauma. In a courageous and delicate way, the two come together to present the world with a powerful documentary, which much more than exposing the artist’s still open wounds, still invites the audience to a confrontation. Through illustrations and a series of personal materials such as letters, messages and photos, it is possible to have a small dimension of who Manson was in his life and the extent of abuse suffered at his hands.

And Wood’s courage to expose the biggest trauma of his life is what drives this documentary and also serves as an encouraging tool for other survivors to come out and share their stories. Intimate and reflective, Phoenix Rising is in fact the emotional rise of the actress, who still reveals that she was raped by Marilyn Manson during the recording of the video for her hit “Heart-Shaped Glasses”. And with each new revelation, the production takes a piece of us with it, breaking us amidst so many graphic reports that stop echoing only in the actress’s mind and start to swirl in our minds, as an audience.

Under a symbolic creative aesthetic, which transforms the illustrations into an allusion to the purity and innocence that were once taken from Evan Rachel Wood, Phoenix Rising is a mandatory invitation. Raw and honest, the two-part HBO Max documentary is still a wake-up call about how often POP culture and the entertainment industry have helped perpetuate sexual predators without any condemnation. A manifesto against silence, it is a cry for liberation from a woman who refuses to be silenced once more.

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