Room 2806 : The Accusation is a four-part Netflix documentary series focusing on the allegations of sexual assault made against French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn (“DSK”) in 2011. While Room 2806 : The Accusation is ostensibly concerned with a particular historical incident, thematically it addresses the wider issue of sexual abuse carried out by men of power and status.
Like many viewers, I remember reading about this case in passing and perhaps not following up on how the matter was ultimately resolved. DSK was a prominent figure in 2011, not only in France where he was a leading contender for the French presidency but due to his role as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, wherein he played a key role in the rehabilitation of the world economy in the wake of 2008’s financial crisis.
Room 2806 : The Accusation does an excellent job in detailing initially the credentials (and credibility) of DSK and while the accusation itself is being presented to us viewers – On 14 May 2011, Nafissatou Diallo, a 32-year-old maid at the Sofitel New York Hotel, alleged that DSK had sexually assaulted her after she entered his suite.
This question is inevitably raised in our minds – why would a man of power and status like DSK risk his career and reputation to conduct himself in such a despicable manner. DSK was arrested and indicted by the state of New York and Room 2806 : The Accusation does its best to present the facts from all sides in a quest to determine the truth of the matter.
But of course, there is more to DSK (and Diallo) that meets the eye. In addition, there are other players in this dark tale as the documentary series brings the viewer down a rabbit hole of seedy revelations. Room 2806 : The Accusation never takes a side and maintains its journalistic objectivity throughout though it’s difficult not to arrive at certain definitive conclusions about DSK.
As mentioned before, there is a bigger picture that Room 2806 : The Accusation is concerned with. DSK is emblematic of a serious problem that the world has not been able to rid itself of – the systemic sexual abuse of women at the hands of powerful men. Worse still, the failure of law enforcement to render these men accountable for their vile actions. In hindsight, the DSK case can be said to foreshadow the MeToo movement as well.
Room 2806 : The Accusation is definitely worth viewing even if its conclusion is highly unsatisfying. The series is thought-provoking but stops short of being a call to action. In attempting to present a balance of views, it is in danger of condoning sexual violence and harassment. Which is a comment on media itself – there is no excuse for such disgusting and monstrous attitudes and/or behaviour. Recommended.
Room 2806 : The Accusation is streaming on Netflix.
… still there’s more …