A Smiling Anita Hill Shows Up At Sundance

Anita Hill in Park City, Utah on January 18, 2013. (Chad Hurst/Getty)Anita Hill graced us with her presence at this year's Sundance Film Festival looking little changed by time, with one notable exception -- a big smile! She received a standing ovation at the screening of Frieda Mock’s documentary, Anita, which summarizes her testimony during Clarence Thomas's 1991 Supreme Court hearings. The film's angle, said the director after the screening, is all about "looking at the next generation of people, looking at the next generation of issues and getting it right," in terms of gender inequality.

As a Brandeis law professor, Hill currently teaches social policy and women's studies, and has appeared on the 2011 TIME magazine People of The Year panel and was also a presenter at Glamour magazine's Women of the Year Awards.

In 1991, Anita Hill made headlines everywhere for testifying that Clarence Thomas, the then-candidate for Supreme Court Justice, had sexually harassed her during her time working for him at The U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, citing many detailed examples. Many of her supporters were mesmerized (and often horrified) as a lone Hill was made to defend herself against the entire all-white, all-male Senate Judiciary Committee.

Anita Hill at the National Press Club in 2000. (Alex Wong/Getty)Coincidentally, Clarence Thomas just made news last week for speaking up for the first time during a Supreme Court Session. That's right, folks--he hasn't uttered a word during a hearing in seven years. So, what did he say? The official transcript reports that he leaned in and muttered, "well--he did not--." This is widely believed to be a dig at Yale Law School, which he attended and publicly denounces. Justice Scalia had made a comment that a capital defendant had "competent counsel" and Thomas, chuckling, may have implied that Yale did not imply competence.

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