The Story of a Courageous Victim
I've watched quite a few made for TV movies and true story movies which deal with the subject of rape and as I sat down to watch "Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story" I was pretty sure what to expect. What I got was nothing like what I expected and have to say that "Taking Back My Life" blew me away in its detail and depth because this isn't a drama but a look at the life of a woman who was raped and what she went through from the initial examination and taking control of the situation for herself. And to make this all the more fascinating is that it is also a look at a woman who prior to the rape had a troubled marriage with a troublesome mother in law. It basically is a movie which sees the bigger picture beyond the immediate victim.
Now I won't bother with a synopsis for "Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story" because in truth it would be impossible to do justice to this made for TV movie or the true story in just a few lines. But I will split it up and the first twenty minutes really goes in to detail when it comes to the marriage of Nancy Ziegenmeyer as her husband Steven no longer shares a bed with her as Nancy has a reputation for sleeping around and they are in the midst of getting divorced. But we also see how Steven's mother has a vendetta against Nancy and makes out she abuses their children so that Steven will get custody of them in the divorce. This section takes it time to paint a picture of real people with real problems and you begin to wonder whether this movie is about rape or not.
But then we get to the rape and what "Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story" shows us is the aftermath of the rape, the initial panic and fear, the medical examination at hospital, the drive around town with cops to see if Nancy can spot her attacker. On top of that we then get the uncertainty, the fear, the hurtful comments and so on as well as a sense of the legal system taking over and it no longer becomes about the victim but what the state wants. This is where we watch as Nancy starts to make her stand as she tries to get to grips with the law and why her case is postponed 4 times whilst Steven gets to grips with his malicious mother and her campaign against Nancy.
Whilst this all builds to the real story, what makes this very different is that Nancy goes to the press and agreeing to tell her story and putting her name and face to it so that people realise that those who are raped should not be ashamed as they are not the guilty party. We see how the prosecutor disagrees with Nancy's actions and how it complicates matters and more as it affects her relationship with Steven. I will leave it there as there is a lot more in "Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story" which just adds to how impressive and how in depth this movie is in its dramatizing of a rape victim's story.
What this all boils down to is that "Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story" is a surprisingly good made for TV movie, a deep dramatization of a true story and a real life which shows various aspects of Nancy Ziegenmeyer's story.