Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dakota Fanning's rape scene

I just heard about this on the Youth Ministry Exchange forums yesterday. Since I had not heard of it I wasn't sure what to think. I didn't know how much was shown, how it was shot or anything. I just found another article on the subject. You can read the whole thing here, but here is a part that caught my attention...

The disturbing scene lasts a few minutes but is not graphic. There is no nudity, the scene is very darkly lit and only Fanning's face and hand are shown.

Kampmeier said it took her a decade to get the film made, largely because of the rape scene, but cutting it was a compromise she was unwilling to make.

"This issue is so silenced in our society. There are a lot of women who are alone with this story," she said.

"When you're shooting a film, it's the images you line up next to each other that create a story," Kampmeier said. "If you have a hand hitting the ground, Dakota screaming 'stop' and you see a zipper unzip - that creates a rape."

I do not think anyone, regardless of age, should have to go through filming a rape scene. I would assume the mental battles with that would last a long time. I would hope the depiction from the article, of a non-graphic scene, is what is in the movie. I will probably never know, because I probably will never see the film. I would also hope the shooting of the scene was done with the utmost decency and respect.

Was it right for her to shoot it? Was it right for the director to keep it in the film? Should followers of Christ boycott the film? Will this film help some women feel more able to talk about a past rape?

This is what Dakota says at the end of the article:

"It's not really happening," Fanning said of a rape. "It's a movie, and it's called acting. I'm not going through anything. Cody and Isabelle aren't going through anything, their characters are.

"And for me, when it's done it's done," she said. "I don't even think about it anymore."

With all of the publicity and media attention on this one scene, I don't think she will be able to say "I don't think about it anymore" for a while. Even if she has moved on, I don't think the culture will for awhile.

What about her mom? I don't think that I would want my child to go through a scene like that. Maybe its because I'm not an actor, nor the parent of an actor. But I just don't know what to make. Its just the same thing I feel about Jessica Simpsons' dad (her manager and former minister) being completely ok with her doing all the sensual stuff and not having a problem with it. Does Hollywood have different standards and do you conform to them to "make it"?


  1. Well, in my job I've had to work w/a lot of kids who have gone through sexual abuse as well as adults. I think that a movie about it can 1. get an understanding to the general public that things like this are real, 2. can help those who have gone through it feel like they are not alone and can talk about it. However, should a child be forced to do the scene? The article did say that Dakota Fanning would not compromise on not doing it. I think that it was probably shot in a way that would not traumatize her, especially understanding that she was only acting and could be a part of something to help the greater good. Does that make sense?

  2. I think it was the director that said she would not compromise on editing the scene out of the movie. But I did also hear that a lot of other child actors turned down the part b/c of that scene, so Dakota was well aware of it before she took the role. It is not the first difficult/tense role Dakota has done. I hope the film does help open the door for many people who don't feel they can talk about it.