'Bombshell' Brett Kavanaugh documentary doesn't reveal any new bombshells: movie critic
Kavanaugh faced an allegation that he assaulted a woman when they were teenagers. (AFP/File / SAUL LOEB)

A secretly made documentary purporting to shed new light on the allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh doesn't reveal any new bombshells, according to Slate's Sam Adams.

Referring to the surprise screening of Justice, Doug Liman’s "bombshell" documentary about Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Adams asked, "What sort of explosive revelations could this movie contain that would necessitate keeping it under wraps until the very last minute?"

"After standing in a crowded tent for an hour and making my way into the packed screening, I can answer that question with: not much," Adams writes, echoing the consensus of others who've seen the film.

According to Adams, people who believed Kavanaugh's denials would likely not be swayed by the film, while those who believe his accusers "need no further confirmation."

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Amy Herdy, the investigative journalist who led the film’s research team, said she hopes the film "triggers outrage."

"One reason for the movie’s short length was the decision to leave out any Kavanaugh accuser whose allegations couldn’t be corroborated, and because [Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford], who appears at the edge of the frame in the opening shot as Liman attempts to convince her to be part of the film, evidently decided not to participate. (Her indelible Senate testimony is, of course, included.) But Herdy said that within half an hour of the film’s existence being announced to the world, new tips were coming through Justice’s website, and they might well end up becoming part of the final version," Adams writes.

Deborah Ramirez, who alleges that Kavanaugh drunkenly stuck his penis in her face in front of several witnesses ( and who said in 2018 that she was willing to testify before Congress but was never called), speaks at length in the film, as well as experts in psychological trauma who explained why her memory of the assault can be precisely detailed in some instances and vague in others.

"One of the movie’s most damning points is that Republican counsel Rachel Mitchell, who pounced on minor lapses and inconsistencies in Blasey Ford’s testimony in an attempt to undermine her credibility as a witness, had worked enough sexual assault cases as a prosecutor to understand exactly how traumatic memory works, and knowingly used that experience to attack Blasey Ford instead," writes Adams.

Adams contends that the film will has little chance of persuading the FBI to reopen the case. "What it might do, especially in an expanded and strengthened version, is to help ensure that Kavanaugh never escapes what Ramirez and Blasey Ford say he did, that his every ruling and public statement is seen through the lens of the person they say he is."

Read the full article over at Slate.