rape: how far is too far?

Disclaimer: this is a mommy blog, usually.  This has nothing to do with mommy-ness or my children.  Just something I can’t get off my mind.  So here goes.

I mentioned in a previous post that we had the opportunity to go to the movies this weekend.  We saw Straw Dogs.  Synopsis: David and Amy Sumner, a Hollywood screenwriter and his actress wife, return to her small hometown in the deep South to prepare the family home for sale after her father’s death. Once there, tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts re-emerge with the locals, including Amy’s ex-boyfriend Charlie, leading to a violent confrontation” (Yahoo).

The movie is Rated R and details about the reasoning for the rating includes “strong brutal violence including a sexual attack.”  I was not familiar with the 1971 original, therefore I did not know that the 2011 remake also had a graphic rape scene.  The original film was apparently banned in various venues following its release due to the violent, disturbing content. 


I wish I could remember the name of a movie I saw within the past 2 or 3 years that also had a graphic rape scene.  I recall telling my husband that I, a woman who has never been raped or physically attacked, was extremely uncomfortable watching the scene.  I felt the exact same way watching the scene in Straw Dogs this past weekend.  I had to look away several times and wondered why the director felt it necessary to show so much when a whole lot less would have gotten the point across.  I can’t imagine what anyone who has been raped would feel while watching the movie. 

Since that experience I had a couple of years ago, I’ve thought that movies with this type of scene should warn viewers.  “Warning: This film contains a graphic, violent rape scene that may be disturbing to some viewers.” Is that enough?  Or too much? Sure, the rating details explain that the movie contains a “sexual attack.”  But who looks up the reason behind a movie rating before going to the theater? 

If a warning about rape is required, then what else will require a warning?  I know…once you start that kinda ball rolling, it’s hard to stop it. 

Kate Bosworth plays the victim of rape in the 2011 version of Straw Dogs.  Alexander Skarsgard plays one of the rapists. 

“I told Alex not to worry about me, to just go for it. I said, I need you to lose yourself in this moment,” Bosworth told Black Book in a recent interview. “And it was actually violent,” Bosworth continued. “He’s a huge guy. When he was ripping off my clothes in front of a room filled with men, even though I knew it was make-believe, it was still incredibly violating and terrifying. The panic you see flooding me in that rape scene is real.”

I dunno, guys.  I’m not trying to be all Miss Picky-Picky.  Truthfully as a whole, I was entertained by the movie and enjoyed the storyline.  I just wish they would have left that rape scene out.  I suppose I’m looking out for someone who might be re-traumatized by this sort of thing.  It just feels wrong and unnecessary. 


Has anyone else seen Straw Dogs (either version)?



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