HBO’s Phoenix Rising is a two-part documentary produced and directed by Amy Berg (HBO’s The Case against Adnan Syed), following actress and activist Evan Rachel Wood as she takes her experience as a survivor of domestic violence to pursue justice, heal generational wounds, and reclaim her story. Almost a decade after escaping a dangerous relationship, Wood co-authors and successfully lobbies for passage of The Phoenix Act, legislation that extends the statute of limitations for domestic violence cases in California. Wood courageously uses her own experience to bring visibility to the issue; ultimately, in solidarity with fellow survivors.
On February 1st, 2021, Wood publicly named Brian Warner, aka Marilyn Manson, as her abuser, free from the burden of silence, even as the promise of justice remains ambiguous. To date, no charges have been filed against Warner, who denies abusing Wood or any other person. Using archival footage, intimate home videos, and candid testimony from Wood and other survivors, Phoenix Rising charts Wood’s journey from silent victim to vocal survivor and her rise to a domestic violence advocate.
Connecting the dots between the progression of her relationship with Warner and phases of the clinical domestic violence cycle, Wood successfully lobbied for The Phoenix Act, which was signed into California State Law in 2019, extending the statute of limitations for domestic violence felonies from three years to five years.
Phoenix Rising delves behind familiar headlines and explores the often-misunderstood aspects of domestic abuse, helping to shed light on the many factors that prevent survivors from coming forward with their stories as they deal with years of aftershocks and emotional trauma.