‘People could not look me in my eye’: Dalston cinematographer Molly Manning Walker confronts ‘stigma’ of rape in film

Molly Manning Walker

Molly Manning Walker - Credit: Molly Manning Walker

A film confronting the stigma surrounding rape is based on the true life experience of its maker and writer.

Molly Manning Walker - who has waived her right to anonymity as a victim of sexual violence - also hopes to highlight flaws in the system “which leave victims feeling they have no where to turn and no one to trust” through her 15-minute film Dark is her Shadow.

Molly, 25, from Dalston, and her crew of nine who have also been victims of sexual harassment, assault or rape, have already hit their crowd funding target of £8,500.

Once they have cast a 16-year-old in the lead role, they plan to start filming in December.

“I would like to think the rape didn’t have a big impact on me - more my shock of the system,” Molly told the Gazette.

“It’s like you expect someone to reach out from that point and say: “Yes that’s wrong”, and when they don’t, it’s retraumatising.”

“They ask the same questions, and the questions are irrelevant to whether it happened or not, about what she was wearing, or whether she was drinking.

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“The crime itself didn’t particularly haunt me, because I was completely passed out so I don’t remember any of it, but it was the fact people couldn’t look me in the eye if I brought it up.

“Everyone shut down, and the authorities seemed to think it wasn’t a problem for them. The police persuaded me not to prosecute because it would “be more stressful than it’s worth”. To tell a 16-year-old that is accepting it, and that’s insane. “Yes it’s rape, but we can’t do anything about it”.” “I know it’s a really difficult thing to prove and it’s a tough thing to go to court with, but at the same time there’s a manner in which you approach something and I felt the manner in which I was dealt with was terrible.”

Molly hopes to help change the way rape is conceived, and to encourage young people talk about it.

“I feel like it’s almost like a swear word in itself. Everyone shies away from the fact it exists.”

“It’s not about winning awards,” added Molly. “If it goes to a festival it gets seen more but it’s about opening up a debate about how we talk about this.”

To contribute the film for the chance to be invited to a private screening, see https://kck.st/2xL7RsR.