G Weaver wrote:
>The discussion of violent films has been an interesting one
>having done reception research on The Accused. Whilst we
>might view this as containing the message that no woman
>provokes rape, the message taken from the film by many
>women viewers is that women should not display their
>sexuality to the extent that it might be interpreted by men
>as 'a come on'. How do members of the Screen-L group rate
>this film in relation to the question 'are violent movies
>good'?. It seems to me that most of the debate so far is
>coming from an auteur approach. But what about the
>position of the industry context of films?
This for me is a difficult one. The last scene of the
Accused for me is one of the most difficult things to watch
and after the first time I saw the film I think I missed out
that last scene.
As a woman watching it is difficult to pin down your
feelings about the behaviour and the rape. I couldn't help
feeling that the character is foolish and moreover very
short-sighted in her behaviour. It's not a moral crime
though, it's just someone being careless about the way they
appear for one night.
The rapes are so violent and vile and destroying though that
you are shocked into realising just how messed up these men
are: having a hard-on is one thing, not being able to
recognise, or rather ignoring a terrified woman begging for
mercy is another.
For me I realised that the reason I earlier felt her
behaviour was careless wasn't anything to do with her, it
was to do with the fact that she lives in a world where a
woman has to guard herself against *some* men who choose not
to see a woman with an obvious sexuality as a woman with
feelings and emotions as well.
I think it's an important film as it certainly does
challenge a lot of deep-seated ideas and prejudices and
presents the rape of a 'real' woman. It's easy to get
sympathetic about a quiet housewife and mother being raped
but when a viewer is presented with the character in the
Accused they have to really question their feelings.
So, although I'm still not fully decided on whether that
final scene needs to be quite so graphic and uncomfortable
for the viewer, I do on the other hand feel it's vital that
the message of the destroying, invasive nature of rape is
hammered into the audiences minds. The danger of an audience
walking away thinking 'she asked for it' is far too great.
However I can't quite sit comfortably with the voyeurism in
this last scene; perhaps though to feel so uncomfortable as
a viewer helps us to empathise with the character?
Is it a good film? It's an important, thought-provoking film
and that's good. Makes me think of another great film that
uses violence - Mike Leigh's 'Naked', anyone got any
thoughts on the violence and cruelty in that film?
Sorry for the length of this first posting!
To signoff SCREEN-L, e-mail [log in to unmask] and put SIGNOFF SCREEN-L
in the message. Problems? Contact [log in to unmask]