‘Phoenix Rising’ Review: Evan Rachel Wood’s Powerful Documentary on Surviving Abuse

‘Phoenix Rising’ Review: Evan Rachel Wood’s Powerful Documentary on Surviving Abuse
[Editor’s Note: “The Phoenix Act” was reviewed for the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, where it screened only one of its two parts. The second part was not provided for critics ahead of release.]

Evan Rachel Wood has talked about being a survivor of domestic violence for several years. Her story on its own is powerful. Documentarian Amy Berg’s two-part series, “Phoenix Rising,” places Wood in the driver’s seat of her own narrative, showcasing the actor’s rise as an activist as well as her struggles to cope with the abuse she alleges at the hands of Brian Warner, aka Marilyn Manson.

“It’s hard for me to even relate to her,” Wood says while looking at photos of her younger self in the first half of the documentary, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. “Phoenix Rising” attempts to tell two stories while maintaining respect for the seriousness of both. In the first episode, clocking in at over an hour, the audience hears Wood declare that shock-rocker Marilyn Manson is the man she claims abused her during their four-year relationship. (Wood
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