The Disappearance of Shere Hite Documentary at Sundance Film Festival

Judith Davis
2 min readFeb 5, 2023

On Friday, January 20, 2023, during the 2023 Sundance Film festival, there was the premiere of the documentary “The Hite Report.”

The Hite Report was groundbreaking book on study of the intimate experiences of women and remains one of the bestselling books of all time since its publication in 1976. Drawn from anonymous survey responses, the book challenged restrictive conceptions of sex and opened a dialogue in popular culture around women’s pleasure.

Its charismatic author, Shere Hite, a feminist sex researcher and former model, became the public messenger of women’s secret confessions. With each subsequent bestseller, she engaged television titans in unforgettably explicit debates about sexuality while suffering the backlash her controversial findings provoked. But few remember Shere Hite today. What led to her erasure?

Dakota Johnson at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival for the Red carpet for the Disappearance of Shere Hite Documentary

Digging into exclusive archives, as well as Hite’s personal journals and the original survey responses, filmmaker Nicole Newnham (Crip Camp, 2021 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary, 2021 IDA Award for Best Feature, 2021 Academy Award® nominee Best Documentary Feature, and Audience Award: U.S. Documentary, 2020 Sundance Film Festival) transports viewers back to a time of great societal transformation around sexuality. Her revelatory portrait is a rediscovery of a pioneer who has had an unmistakable influence on current conversations about gender, sexuality, and bodily autonomy, as well as a timely, cautionary tale of what too often happens to women who dare speak out.

Actress Dakota Johnson and director Nicole Newnham on the Red carpet for the Disappearance of Shere Hite Documentary

This Shere Hite documentary could not be more timely with the reversal of Roe V. Wade and displays how important it is for women to be more aware of the power of their own body and the right to make personal decisions for themselves.

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Judith Davis

A professional writer, content manager, and web producer who has worked for quite a few high profile brands. https://twitter.com/JudithD_NYCGirl