Noah Berletsky on Rolling Stone's UVA Story, Eden, and Media Exploitation


Phase 4 Films

The media reports a brutal, dramatic sexual assault, prompting widespread condemnation and calls for institutional change. Before too long, though, contradictory details emerge, and the original account is called into question. The veracity of the victim is challenged, resulting in a welter of charges and counter-charges, confusion, and unanswered questions. This could be a brief summation of the controversy surrounding Sabrina Rubin Erdely's exposé of sexual violence at the University of Virginia, which ran in November at Rolling Stone. But, writes Noah Berlatsky, it could just as easily serve as a thumbnail description of the narrative around Eden, a 2012 indie film directed by Megan Griffiths supposedly based on the real life experiences of sex trafficking victim Chong Kim.