Speak - The truth changes everything

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German title Speak - The truth changes everything
Original title Speak
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2004
length 93 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Jessica Sharzer
script Jessica Sharzer,
Annie Young Frisbie
production Fred Berner ,
Matthew Myers
music Christopher Libertino
camera Andrij Parekh
cut Peter C. Frank

Speak - The Truth changes everything (Original title: speak ) is an American film drama from the year 2004 with Kristen Stewart in the lead role. It shows the situation of a 14-year-old girl who was raped and cannot bring herself to talk about it. The story of the film based on the book saying (English. Speak ) by Laurie Halse Anderson .

The film premiered on January 20, 2004 at the Sundance Film Festival . In Germany, the film was released more than ten years later, on December 14, 2014, directly on DVD and Blu-ray .


Melinda was raped at a friend of Andy Evans' party over the summer vacation. She called the police completely headless, but couldn't tell anyone what had happened. Her old friends turned away from her because she had called the police for no apparent reason.
Melinda has been completely insecure since then and hardly speaks any more. Now school is starting again and she is entering high school. On the first day of school she meets Heather, a girl who is also new to high school. At school, Melinda is calm and reserved, she cannot express what she feels or would like to say. She can only show what moves her in art class. Your art teacher, Mr. Freeman, realizes very quickly how things are going for them. The very correct Mr. Neck, on the other hand, is rather hostile towards her. He also notices that Melinda doesn't like to talk and asks her to give an oral presentation, which of course she cannot manage. Melinda's school grades keep dropping. In addition, Heather also announces her friendship because she is of the opinion that Melinda is depressed and that she therefore no longer wants to be seen with her.
She is supported in this difficult situation by her new friend Dave Petrakis. He, too, urges Melinda to come out more and talk more. To isolate herself even more from the world, Melinda sets up a kind of room of her own in a storage room at the school. Here she paints pictures and can express her feelings.
Melinda has found it hard to keep her thoughts and feelings to herself, especially since she now feels guilty about her former best friend Rachel. She has fallen out with her since the party and is now with Andy Evans. Melinda fears Andy could rape Rachel too, but doesn't dare to talk to her about it.
Her blockage is only really released when Heather comes back to her and asks her a favor. Melinda doesn't speak at first, but then gets angry and rejects Heather. The next day, she tries to talk to Rachel in the library, but can't get a word out. She manages by writing on a notepad that she was raped. Rachel is shocked, but when Melinda tells her that Andy is the rapist, Rachel angrily leaves. Still, fears gnaw at her, Melinda might be right. Soon the news spread throughout the school. Andy, who of course also heard about it, attacks Melinda in her storage room and tries to force her to claim to have lied. This time, however, she can fight off him. Shortly before their fight escalates, a player from the school's lacrosse team opens the door, accompanied by the entire team. Melinda leaves the room, leaving Andy with the girls who have also found out about the incident and will not let him out. Melinda finally opens up and talks about the rape, also with her mother at the end of the film.


The audience rated Speak relatively well, with more than 20,600 votes cast in the Internet Movie Database and an average rating of 7.4 out of a possible 10 points, and a viewer rating of 81% in the Rotten Tomatoes film rating portal . Also in the German film portal Moviepilot reached peak a rating of 7.9 of 10 possible points.

The film service thinks the film is a "carefully staged youth drama with a young, believable acting Kristen Stewart as the leading actress". For Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times , Speak does not come close to the tone of his literary source, but is still a successful portrayal of the difficult subject of the consequences of rape, especially due to the excellent performance of leading actress Kristen Stewart. Steve Zahn's acting performance also stands out, but the caricatural portrayal of the remaining characters costs the film credibility. Chris Parry of eFilmCritic.com is enthusiastic about the film and also praises the performance of the actors, highlighting Stewart and Zahn as well as Elizabeth Perkins, who plays Melinda's mother in the film. For him, Speak is proof that a good independent film production is always able to outperform expensive studio productions.

Nominations and Awards

In 2004 Speak on the festival Woodstock film with the Audience Award for Jessica Sharzer as best narrator ( Best Narrative Speaker excellent). 2006 followed a nomination for the DGA Award in the category Outstanding achievements as Director ( Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs ) for Jessica Sharzer and the WGA Award for Children's Script - Long Form , also for Sharzer and the co-author Annie Young Frisbie.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release Certificate for Speak - The truth changes everything . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , November 2014 (PDF; test number: 148 633 V).
  2. User ratings for Speak (2004). Internet Movie Database , accessed May 24, 2012 .
  3. Speak. Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved May 24, 2012 .
  4. Speak. Moviepilot , accessed May 24, 2012 .
  5. Speak - The truth changes everything - short review . In: Filmdienst.de . Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  6. ^ Neil Genzlinger: TV Review - 'Speak'– For One Teenager, the Party's Over. New York Times , September 5, 2005, accessed May 24, 2012 .
  7. Chris Parry: Movie Review - Speak. eFilmCritic.com, January 28, 2004, accessed May 24, 2012 .
  8. ^ Awards for Speak (2004). Internet Movie Database , accessed May 24, 2012 .