A Movie To Not See, No Matter What

On the eve of Mother’s Day, I have just made the mistake of watching a new movie on Showtime called “An American Crime”. I feel emotionally battered and spiritually defiled, but perhaps I can spare someone else from making the same mistake.

The movie is based on a true story. In 1965, a mother of 7 in Indiana took in two young girls as boarders. One of the girls became the focus of the woman’s demented rage, and ended up being tortured to death.

This plot seems timely, given the news from Austria, but there is nothing to be gained from this film, in terms of understanding the forces that can pervert human behavior.

The worst thing is that according to the film and factual accounts of the crime, a group of children took part in torturing the girl. It became an after-school sport to visit the basement and abuse this helpless, broken teenager.

I want to know why ordinary children would do this. I want to know why a filmmaker would chronicle this abuse without offering any insight or consolation. I want to know what the actors were thinking when they took on this project. And I want to be warned before a film this thanklessly brutal appears in my living room.

I could have stopped watching, but I was desperate for catharsis. I felt certain that there would be a payoff of some kind. Silly me. The use of torture as entertainment has no obligation other than financial profit.

If you ever suspect a case of child abuse, don’t hesitate to report it. It won’t matter if you’re wrong, at least you’ll know you tried to help. Look out for each other. And beware of this fucking movie, no matter how much you like Ellen Page.

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5 Responses to A Movie To Not See, No Matter What

  1. Sonja says:

    I heard about that story sometime ago – my heart broke into a million pieces – wouldn’t go near that movie for nothin.

    Oh, and STUNNING dress. You look gorgous. Hey check out these clothes. I think you will hate them. I love them. No matter. I’m now working in this boutique. Working sucks ass, but I’m encouraged to play dress up to my heart’s content when it’s slow and that’s alright. I’ll do it for a couple of months and then quit or get fired I expect. http://www.kaliyana.com

  2. enc says:

    Zoinks, how horrible.

  3. honeypants says:

    Guess what? I watched it, but before I read your review. Dammit, I should have read your review first. You’re right, it was horribly depressing, gratuitously brutal, and the ONLY consolation you get (as a viewer) is the news that the mother did go to prison. Not only that, I’ll never be able to look at Catherine Keener the same way again, and I like her! Booooo!!!!! šŸ™

  4. Sister Wolf says:

    I feel your pain, Honeypants. I was hoping to see the mother in the electric chair.

  5. MaRK says:

    It was on the other night. I couldn’t watch it, not even the first few minutes because I knew what was going to happen.

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