January 24, 2007

Rape scene = porn?

Posted in Censorship, Children and adolescents, Movies, News at 10:05 am by The Lizard Queen

In our ongoing series entitled “I haven’t read it/seen it, but I know it’s evil,” I give you the Catholic League versus Hounddog (emphasis added):

PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) — A flurry of movie deals were struck as the Sundance Film Festival reached its midpoint Tuesday, and the widely anticipated film “Hounddog” debuted, starring young Dakota Fanning as the victim of a child rape.

The movie by writer/director Deborah Kampmeier received a storm of complaints before the festival from groups concerned about a scene in which a 12-year-old girl named Lewellen is raped by a teen-age boy. The groups had not yet seen the film.

The New York-based Catholic League earlier this month called for a federal probe to determine whether child pornography laws were violated because Fanning, like the character she plays, is 12 years old.

People who complain because they expect a movie or book to be objectionable without seeing or reading it, or even talking to the people involved, drive me batty. Expressing concern is one thing; complaining, becoming irate, and/or trying to get the book or movie banned is another matter entirely.  And then the assumptions the Catholic League makes about the rape scene frustrate me for a number of reasons.  The idea that a depiction of the rape of a twelve-year-old could be considered titilating is heartbreaking–but really, if the Catholic League is concerned about child pornography, aren’t there many more pertinent battles they could be fighting than whether or not Dakota Fanning (who apparently only shows her “face, neck, shoulders, hand and foot” in the rape scene, and who no doubt has plenty of people looking out for her best interests) is being exploited?

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4 Comments »

  1. Cara said,

    I read about this this morning. Dakota Fanning said basically, “we’re not going through these things. I’m not, [the other young costars] are not. It’s called acting. It’s what we do.”

    And anyone who thinks a 12 year old is not already aware of and confronted with sex issues, including rape, is living in the dark ages anyway, as we all know.

  2. Evil Bender said,

    I wonder about the priorities of the Catholic League. Where was this outrage over the priest sexual abuse scandal?

    Unless they were demanding the church answer to that scandal, then they’re huge hypocrites.

  3. DavidD said,

    Some people are good at imagining the worst …

    … like the disaster they picture if we ever give up in Iraq or anywhere else
    … like all those Muslims who they say want to subvert the American culture
    … like all those Mexicans who they say want to subvert the American culture
    … like what they say gays will do if allowed anywhere near children
    … like what teenagers will do if they know how contraception works

    There was a motion picture code once that Catholics liked. Maybe they long for that again. I suppose those who have their heart set on turning back the clock are not going to be dissuaded by the reasons why cultural evolution has turned from them, the same reasons why the culture won’t turn back enough to make them happy, from school prayer to public profanity to other ways that this is not Italy or Ireland. So goes this one-sided culture war where the secular side hardly needs to do anything. Reality does as much as anyone can do. Of course it will take 500 years for the current conflicts to play out. I wonder if people will find new things to see unrealistically then.

    Why attack/”protect” Dakota Fanning? Publicity matters for donations, for politics, for ego. I bet there’s more.

  4. […] I realize this could be construed as something that makes me a bit of a hypocrite. However, I think it’s one thing to hear something about a book or movie and think […]


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