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The Red Pill documentary to screen in Calgary next month

Controversial documentary will be hosted by group promoting father's rights

The Red Pill, a documentary exploring the men's rights movement, will be showing in Calgary despite criticism.

Jaye Bird Productions

The Red Pill, a documentary exploring the men's rights movement, will be showing in Calgary despite criticism.

A film that generated controversy in Calgary without even making it to the big screen is being given a second chance.

The Red Pill, a documentary chronicling a feminist’s journey into the men’s rights movement, was originally scheduled to be shown in early March at a screening hosted by the University of Calgary’s Wildrose on Campus club.

The group received considerable criticism when an e-mail invitation to the event infamously declared, “feminism is cancer.” The public backlash resulted in its cancelation.

Fathers Rights Alberta, a social media support network, is hosting the rescheduled screening, which is to be held at the Plaza Theatre on Tuesday, Apr. 4.

Cassie Jaye, director of The Red Pill, said, “I went in thinking I was going to make the film about misogynists who want to turn back the clocks on women’s rights.”

Instead, what she found were increasing rates of male suicide, mental health issues and reporting of domestic violence.

Jaye said the film’s title refers to a scene from The Matrix, where the blue pill represents “a safe but false reality,” and the red pill means one chooses to open their eyes to harsh realities can’t be unlearned – in this case, a disparity in how men are treated by society.

Jaye no longer identifies as a feminist, but does not consider herself a men’s rights activist either, instead choosing to avoid labeling herself.

However, she said that feminism and men’s rights are not mutually exclusive.

Monique Dietvorst with the Calgary chapter of the Canadian Association for Equality, who will also be in attendance at the screening, agrees, saying the group is interested in equality for both men and women, but wants to bring to light men’s issues that are often ignored.

“[It’s] not necessarily closing anything off, it’s just widening the scope,” said Dietvorst.

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