The padophilia issue.




It took till around a third into the film before the issue of some saying this is a extravaganza of paedophiliac imagery dissipated. And now in retrospect I resent the film was tainted with these preconceptions gathered from reviews given that to consider this film such implies a rather morbid mind and why should others suffer because of a critics inability to percieve things as innocent-instead naturally assuming the title must be ironic.

What do you think was the primary cause of this misjudgement? Media sensitivity to paedophilia? Reactionary critics? Or was it a fault of the film- personally I think most of the furore would have been avoided if the second or third scene hadn't been a gaggle of young girls swimming half naked in a pool. I felt some discomfit with this due to the placing- when the elder girl stands naked infront of a mirror I felt no discomfit and this scene is potentially rather more discomfit inducing given young girls do run around half naked in public on occassion wheras developing girls very seldom pose naked infront of a camera. It being early in the film, the sustained shots and me not knowing what to expect led me to think this was in bad and irresponsible taste- after seeing the rest of the film of course I decided this was a stupid view and the sustained shots fitted in with the pace of the rest of the film. But it did seem gratuitous at first in the same way it would seem gratuitous if a film about cloistered women began with sustained shots of them frolicing topless in a lake in a similarly unsensual way. The film didn't allow the viewer to adapt to the tone and aesthetic of the film before throwing you into an unfamiliar situation- which led to discomfit and led to the tainting of the film as a paedophiles wet dream.

However, saying that is was perhaps necessary since there does seem to be an abiding underlying metaphor and also a symmetry to the film that would have been ruptured. And I don't think an artist should have to compromise there vision for fear the media misrepresent your film as something perverse. So ultimately I think the director made the right choice- I'm just curious whether if she had pushed that scene back 10 minutes the film would be seen in the press for what it is. Not for what it could be used for.

reply

Americans in the last 25 years have somehow learned to confuse nudity and sex.

-Mike
"Let's make some art!"

reply

The British are pretty messed up when it comes to seperating nudity and sex. I find it disturbing that anyone could associate young children doing what comes naturally with some sort of orgiastic display of flesh.

The film has had a theatrical and dvd release in the UK and so far, the most negative comments I've read have been from UK viewers and press. I think it may get some seriously *beep* up responses once it hits certain areas of the US.

Personally I think for a directorial debut, it's an amazing piece of art.

Cheers Trev

The best for World Cinema - http://p219.ezboard.com/bforeignfilms.

reply

the topic of your post will now attract pedos. good work.

reply

I think the fact that people are disturbed by the partial nudity in this film makes it even better. I mean, it's a film about innocence and the loss of innocence. None of these scenes is sexual, but yet we somehow associate it with this, because none of us are innocent.

Besides that, it has a lot to do with culture as well. It's not uncommon for young girls in Europe to walk around topless. Ever been to the beach somewhere in Europe, especially in France?

Just to give you another example: a friend of mine once made a film about an older man who went jogging in a park. To show that he missed his childhood, because he was getting old, and he had health-related problems, my friend made a point-of-view shot, where the jogger was looking at a small child riding a bicycle.
Some of our teachers commented that they got the impression that this was a "dirty old man", as they put it, when in fact it just showed youth, innocence and health, as opposed to age and the decline of health.

But hey, who can blame them? I live in Belgium, and we had this whole Dutroux affair(he kidnapped, molested and killed several young girls). Ever since then, it's an extremely sensitive topic. It's probably for the best, though.

reply

I think the filmmakers knew what they were doing. They had to have guessed that a good two-thirds of their audience (at least) would interpret such comments as the old lady's telling Bianca to take care of her legs because "you'll get plenty of use for them in the outside world" in a pedophilic way. There were a few little hints that could be taken in such context, but I actually don't count the topless swimming as one of them. That, at least, was as perfectly innocent as it looked. Europeans (the French, at least) tend to be more relaxed about those things. However, I was a bit concerned when we see the gentleman toss the rose and say that Bianca was the most beautiful dancer, and when we learn that the school is paid for by the people who want to watch the girls dance. I just can't see why they're paying that much for a weekly dance performance and not getting something out of it. The scene with the girl being given an injection also could be in some way contributing to my concern that the school wasn't as innocent as it appears.

reply

I just can't see why they're paying that much for a weekly dance performance and not getting something out of it.


They are getting something out of it, the enjoyment of the dance!

But really I don't agree... This film isn't supposed to be a realistic portrayal of the life of a dance school, it almost has a kind of fantasy feel to it... Like in real life France or Belgium or wherever it's supposed to be, I don't think there are dance prisons such as that where there is almost no supervision, and no access to the outside world or even parents, etc... and if there were they would probably be more sinister, but in the world occupied by the film I think it's OK.

The point is it's not a film about the economics of running a dance-prison-school thing.

The paedophile thing is always blown out of proportion, IMHO. There seems to be paranoia here and there to the point that it is interfering with people's enjoyment of life. e.g. A school in the UK banned cameras from a school play for fear of paedophiles taking pics of the kids - the result was that the parents couldn't take pictures of the kids! And another famous person (I forgot if they were a celeb or a polititian or what) were slammed for taking pictures of their own kids nude on the beach! And in the bath...

Having said that, a paedophile *would* get something out of it (and not just the enjoyment of the dance), I'm sorry to say.

And maybe someone else who posted above had a good point - the reason we think of the paedophile thing is because we are adults who have lost our Innocence.

reply

They had to have guessed that a good two-thirds of their audience (at least) would interpret such comments as the old lady's telling Bianca to take care of her legs because "you'll get plenty of use for them in the outside world" in a pedophilic way
Huh? I completely missed that part. How can you take that in a pedophilic way?

clear emotions guide / to the gates of open mind / leave the shame behind / peace is by your side

reply

"the topic of your post will now attract pedos. good work."

Exactly. While it is clear that this film could be used by paedophiles, to accuse it of being in anyway pornographic in intent not only does the filmmaker an incredibly offensive disservice, it also draws attention to the issue which is the one way to ensure that this tremendous film be misused.

I'm sorry, but if after watching this you feel the need to openly express that it is a wanton display of paedo-erotic imagery, i'm almost as concerned about where your mind is as I am about the minds of paedophiles.

I almost didn't want to post this because I was afraid it might contain too many keywords.

reply

[deleted]

Britain follows America because the state and its media will it so. Normal Americans and normal British people take no notice.

Marlon, Claudia & Dimby the cats 1989-2010. Clio the cat, July 1997 - 1 May 2016.

reply

Yes!

reply

when you're filming little girls naked, the issue of pedophilia naturally comes up. the nudity=sex oversimplification is for morons. the issue is very much real and way more complex than that. nudity in the name of art is a great disguise for pedophilic *beep*

reply

Except Americans don't spell it "padophilia" or "paedophilia," so total fail for YOU.

reply

[deleted]

I just saw the film yesterday and i must say it's great, yes maybe some twisted perverted may look the film in a sexual way, but it really has nothing to do with that. The film it's strange, YES! but definitely not sexual. About the semi nude scene, c'mon I got two sisters and lot of nieces and cousins and i grow up with a lot stuff like that, you have to be really mindsick, a complete mental case, wich in that case you'd better be in a institution, if you see that kind of things in this movie or by the way in any minor girl, this kind of things is really make me sick!!!!
At first glance i had to admit that this movie looks like a paedophilic paradise, but if you really seen it trough, you will discover a beautifully shooted film, and an amazing story on how the children discovers the world around them.
People don't be short minded, look at this beatiful piece of art, by the way if you are a paedophile, don't see this movie, I got stomach ache just to imagine what kind of use you may given to this film, be smart, look for help or deliver yourself to the autorithies.

My last words goes to the filmmaker, excellent work!!!

reply

[deleted]

[deleted]

I'm surprised there ever was a paedophilia issue here. Only those with paedophilic tendencies would identify the girls undressing as sexual in any way (I'm guessing Hadzihalilovic emphasised this act to represent the shedding of old skins). I would have understood there being an issue if the film spent all its time, in close-up, watching the girls frolic semi-naked. But if you were actually watching, there was more to it than that.

My top 20 here: http://www.ymdb.com/theeye23/l30156_ukuk.html

reply

[deleted]

Ah, a fellow Wikipedophile...my first port-of-call for everything.

My top 20 here: http://www.ymdb.com/theeye23/l30156_ukuk.html

reply

I will admit that I felt embarressed rather than disturbed watching this film and made a mental note to kick myself for being so silly.
I agree that many people would view this film as 'dangerous' for the nudity but to follow on from the whole "Innocence" ideology it weas needed (think adam and eve).
But I have to make a point in saying I thought the film was dull as dishwater.

reply

[deleted]

The whole issue aside, all of this talk has spurred my interest to want to see this film. Does anyone know about release dates here in the U.S. Has there been a theatrical release? (etc.)

reply

[deleted]

sick bastards. you people are aroused by anything. and it was such a lovely movie too. anyone who thought there was anything sexual in a couple of 6 year olds playing in the water requires some serious therapy.

reply

I agree with some of you but I don't know if any of you have actually watch an extra in the dvd name something like "présentation du film par la réalisatrice"
It clearely explains that there is nothing sexual or erotic about this movie, that it is only about innocence itself. She saying that this movie is also made to be watch by young girls like the ones we see in the movie. She showed the movie to girls this age and she said they were certainly the one who understood it the best. But I still agree that it's hard to don't think about the pedophilia side of it. There is also one thing to consider, this movie was filmed in France and they don't have the same way of thinking as the american at all. In france it is perfectly normal to go to the beach with no top on, for young or older women... So don't forget that it wasn't made for the american way of thinking, but the french's.

reply

[deleted]

There's nothing sick about finding sexual undercurrents in this movie (though I wouldn't call them paedophilic). I thought the movie was in part about the psycho-sexual growth of the girls, and therefore it's only natural that there are many scenes which are suggestive of developing sexuality etc. Such content doesn't need to be sexually arousing and neither does one have to actually get sexually aroused to find such content in a film.

reply

i agree with you.

this film reminds me in some ways of the film based on the book/stories The Company of Wolves, there's nothing explicity sexual in whats on the screen but it IS about sexual growth and the exploration of the feelings and changes young girls go through as they age.
Now, obviously Company of Wolves approaches this very difficulty but the sense of detachment and fairy tale used to explore such themes is prevalent in both movies.

Like you say, you dont have to be finding it sexually arousing, to view sexual context in a movie.

now, i personally dont believe there IS sexual context in this movie barring maybe, and i mean MAYBE some of the older girls actions and scenes, but i am some what concerned about how much nudity or bare clothedness there is, if only because i habitually worry about what other kind of people might be watching this and getting the wrong kind of thrill from it.

Where we see a beautifully crafted movie exploring Innocence, growing up and the gradual ending of childhood, they see...i dont even want to think about what they see but you get my meaning i hope.

i also agree that what ever sexual undertones there may be dont have to be paedophilic, this isnt a film about these girls being abused or exploited, and this film isnt pandering to a paedophilic audience. its just unfortunately the case in this day and age that it will, by some, be seen that way.

'Take what ya can, give nothin'back'

reply

Sure there's sexuality in this film. It's about growing up, which includes puberty, which is directly linked to sex. Remember the emphasis on menstruation, which is for most girls the first time they realize their bodies have a sexual quality? And the blue-ribbon girl watching herself in the mirror? Nothing wrong with that, just a fact of life. Having said that I want to emphasize that these are just minor scenes in a non-sexual fairytale.

A pedophile will find hardcore porn in E.T. if s/he wants to, like anyone can find ambiguity in a title like Innocence, or young girls playing in their underwear. The problem is that life in the Western world is oversexualized, people can no longer distinguish between nudity and sexuality.

If it was up to certain people, genitalia would be banned!

The divinity laughed.

reply

true true true


'Take what ya can, give nothin'back'

reply

People that see phaedophily in this movie tells more about themselves then about the movie proper.

"There is no Seyser Koze!!!" Gabriel Byrne blunder while filming The Usual Suspects.

reply

Not everything about nudity is sexual and its completely possible to see young nude girls in a way that issnt sexual

reply

I was completely baffled and rather disturbed when I saw this film was rated R for sexual content and nudity. What the *beep*? They're *beep* kids! When the hell was anything EVER sexual?

------------
She's gone to warn the wizard! Come on, get my tin hat!

reply

Exactly and by doing that they are forcing the audience to be adults. Instead of letting children watch it because it is about them basically, as if to watch a movie about themselve would "currupt" them in some way.

clear emotions guide / to the gates of open mind / leave the shame behind / peace is by your side

reply

I think most of the furore would have been avoided if the second or third scene hadn't been a gaggle of young girls swimming half naked in a pool
The correct term for a group of young girls is "a giggle of girls". Because that's what they do when the get together

clear emotions guide / to the gates of open mind / leave the shame behind / peace is by your side

reply

First, I must say: I picked up and watched this film without reading any reviews or comments except the interesting synopsis that was on the back of the DVD cartridge.

When it first saw child nudity in this film, it just made me think that this could and probably will be used by pedophiles to justify some kind of legal voyeurism. The mystery that surrounds this film and its plot exacerbated my unease at the potential exploitation of little girls by, not only the characters in the film, but the filmmaker .

It is not until the end of the movie that I saw that, perhaps my thinking is a product of society and its automatic assumption that nudity = sexuality and child nudity = sexual exploitation. Nudity within the cluster of innocence persons, can indeed be harmless. Though, I'm not naive enough to think that some people won't somehow seek out this movie for a purpose other than its storytelling.

You can't solve all your problems by shooting someone or setting a stranger on fire.

reply