Right now, as I blog, the Sundance Film Festival is going on in Park City, Utah. Sundance is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the nation, if not the world, and it's going on right here in Park City, with some shows in Salt Lake City as well.
Sundance is no stranger to controversy. This year, though, there's one movie that's getting some buzz. If half of what I'm hearing is true, I can't believe the movie even got made. The movie is called "Hounddog" and part of its story line involves the rape of the main character, a 12 year old girl. Child star Dakota Fanning plays the girl, and apparently the filmmakers didn't leave as much to the imagination as they should have. In fact, some of the reports I've heard say the scene was rather graphic, and may border on child pornography.
If you understood what I just wrote, you understand that mean that a minor child, Dakota Fanning, was allowed by her parents and her agent, to film a graphic child rape scene.
Tell me, please. How is this okay?
Guess what. It's not. I don't care what excuse you try and give me. Any excuse you can make to say that this kind of thing is okay is a lie and you know it.
In the interest of full disclosure, I've not seen the movie. If this is the subject matter, I don't want to. If it's anything like this article says it is, I have to agree with this section from it:
Kiera McCaffery, Spokesperson, Catholic League of America: "Nobody is denying that this girl filmed the graphic rape scene. What we are saying is that we'd like the government to look at it."
McCaffery says the League's concern is over child stars who may be too young to make wise career decisions.
Kiera McCaffery, Spokesperson, Catholic League of America: "What we are saying is yes, this girl's mother and her social worker may have been with her, but we don't care that they gave consent. If anything this troubles us even more that these people are saying it's ok to film this for a twelve year old because she may win an Oscar."
Now, no one from the League has even seen the film yet. But McCaffery says she doesn't need to see it to know it's wrong.
Kiera McCaffery, Spokesperson, Catholic League of America: "I think that anyone that would argue that you need to see a child act as if she is getting raped to know that it is disgusting...that's absurd."
Absurd it putting it mildly.
On a lighter note, there's a bit of irony surrounding Utah's film industry. The book, "The Monkey Wrench Gang" is going to be made into a movie. It's a somewhat famous story of environmentalist saboteurs in Utah. The story prominently features specific Utah locations.
Guess what? It's going to be filmed in New Mexico.