Wanna learn about Christian Storytelling and The Atheist Religion without sitting through movie reviews that can be several hours long (and include jabs that lump religions that don’t act at all like christianity with the religion that actually has hegemonic, systemic power in America)? Here are the highlights of GAMcast and Hannah and Jake giving Loving the Rapist the smack down it deserves.
And no, we will not be calling it by its real name. It doesn’t deserve to be addressed as such. Hiding behind flowery niceties and childish words is part of the reason why everyone has such a problem understanding each other. Communication kills, y’all. We don’t got time for honey-dipped roses and academic jargon in war (literal or metaphorical). F that nonsense and use direct language!
Hannah: Okay, I know this is a movie, but that lady did not pay for her groceries, she just left. So if you’re gonna cut from one shot to another there, what you need to do is imply the passage of time to say maybe off-screen they’ve checked out or whatever. Here, it just makes me think that the cashier is an idiot who forgets her one job…
Jake: And also the kid’s about to steal something, so to prevent him from getting in trouble, she allowed this lady to steal a cart full of things.
Jake: What’s wrong with Pop-Tarts?
Hannah: They’re breakfast cookies! I will die on this hill. They’re just cookies they say you can eat for breakfast. It’s a scam!
Hannah: So now we get to the uncomfortable part of the movie: the rape scene. I get the impression that the director wanted some sort of surreal thing where a lot of things are happening at once. Instead, we get weird, what I would call, “artsy” editing that really just comes off as awkward and weird.
Jake: See, I’ve seen really impactful rape scenes where you don’t have to show it. Where it’s just like, the victim like stares at something and then all you see is that thing for a little bit; and the sound sorta fades away. You’re cut to play. Like, there’s ways to do this in a tasteful way that isn’t―that, that both saves some dignity for people who experience rape and, you know, not making it like kinda exploitative. You can also do it like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo where it just fuckin’ happens on screen and it’s very visceral. And then of course, she gets her revenge, which feels fuckin’ great. You know, there’s ways to do it, this is not the way to do it in my opinion.
Hannah: It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish in the story. Something like Girl in the Dragon Tattoo, or even something like I don’t know, Clockwork Orange―which depicts sexual violence very explicitly―um, often in those movies, it’s trying to make a point about the violence of sexual assault and rape and things like that. It’s trying to comment on maybe society in some way and make you as an audience feel uncomfortable by showing you this very visceral, violent imagery. But in a story like this where it’s more based around the victims of these crimes and the impact those crimes have on them, which this movie should ostensibly be about, although it’s not really when it comes down to it; you wanna focus maybe not so much on the actual, overt violence of the situation by showing the audience that. You can kind of just imply it happened, and then you deal with the fallout. But this movie does neither?
Jake: Yeah, and also like the provocation of it was she offered him money for helping, and then he got upset saying, “I’m not poor!” Like, this isn’t a real world situation, like, like, that’s not what happens. Like, like. People don’t just fly off the handle cuz they’re offended. I mean it probably happened statistically, but like it’s usually someone with a mindset about like they don’t respect other people’s boundaries like this person. And by the way, he’s going to later on, there’s going to be a whole redemption narrative… First of all, the movie doesn’t say, it basically is like… “he has nothing to really…”, “it wasn’t really his fault”, “cuz he was drunk“. And then also like, like, she, she’s crazy. Like, everybody in this movie is like “you’re an idiot” the whole time. It’s a lot to deal with… I didn’t expect much and still ended up being disappointed in the outcome… So now they decide to do a Christian music montage to take the edge off?
Hannah: …Honestly, I’m glad they montaged, although the song choice is fucking terrible.
Jake: I agree, it made it worse for me.
Hannah: I’m glad they montaged their way through the whole investigation, because the less they dwelled on it, the better.
Hannah: …I’m pretty sure because the daughter is like 23 or 24 years old or something like that, uh, isn’t it a HIPAA violation to give the mother this information over the phone? I guess conservative christian parents tend to think of their children as their property though, so it’s very on brand.
Hannah: So this is kind of a can of worms to open up, but this movie is positing that the parents are christian and are generally against abortion except for cases of like rape or incest. You hear this sometimes. Other people are against abortion unless it’s cases of rape or incest. Now that is a valid position; however, I would argue if your position is abortions are bad in the first place because they are human beings and [Christian God the Father] has decided you shouldn’t do it, why would [he] draw the line at rape babies? He wouldn’t. He would still say no, you have to have them. They’re human beings with souls. There’s nothing in scripture for one thing or another that says these things, this is conservative american christianity, for the most part, and also catholicism and stuff saying you shouldn’t have abortions. But at the same time, it’s interesting to me. It’s this cognitive dissonance that I see where they’re trying to rectify the recognition that wow… raising and having a child grow inside you that is the product of a horrible, horrible assault experience… They understand why it’s not something someone would want, and that it’s justifiable, but they’re trying to reconcile that with the absolute like no-no that is abortion in the bible. It’s just interesting to me, and it’s very hypocritical as far as I’m concerned; because it’s either all or nothing in that case. Either [Christian God the Father] considers them people and you cannot kill them or not.
Jake: Well, it doesn’t in the bible… In the cases of unfaithful wives, you can abort the children and stuff…
Hannah: See, when I say the bible, there’s the bible and then there’s “the bible” that conservative christians think exists.
Jake: Thou shalt not kill, and that’s the only commandment.
Jake: If you are pro-choice, the choice to keep the rape baby is also important… That’s going to be psychologically tough on any assault victim, of course. And if you indeed value the life of that fetus at that time, that’s on you. That’s as valid as wanting to get it aborted… If you, for any reason, feel as if you can’t take care of the child, or that it will harm you in some way to have a baby, just get rid of the thing, man. We’re at a point in human history where we don’t need four-billion babies every year. We can move forward without them… It’s not like they’re missing out on anything. They’re a random cluster of cells that may have had the chance to experience the universe that they are a part of, but at―you know, their sentience is not floating out their waiting to exist. That’s like a big fundamental difference. Taking potential existence away from something isn’t giving it and taking it away. That’s the difference between how people who are pro-choice see an abortion versus a baby murder, for instance.
Hannah: It’s her body, she gets to decide whatever the fuck she wants with teh thing growing inside her.
Jake: Even if we disagree.
Hannah: Yeah! No questions asked. It’s like returning something to Sears.
Jake: I think they were trying to be like, “isn’t that awkward?” But they don’t like shoot it different.
Hannah: I can tell in the movie they were trying to make him awkward but like endearing, but the endearing part did not come off; and it wasn’t even movie awkward, it just felt genuinely awkward… There needs to be a comedy beat or someone reacting to it… It should be shot in a certain way or edited in a certain way that gives that like signal that this is supposed to be kinda quirky or funny or weird.
Jake: Yeah, they didn’t do that.
Hannah: So with nothing visually or through dialogue really explaining why, Julie decides to go and visit Conner, her assailant, in prison, with her baby.
Hannah: So, movie and Julie, there’s forgiveness and then there’s denial. This falls squarely on the side of denial. She’s not just forgiving him, she is talking to him and behaving like nothing happened.
Jake: Like they’re friends.
Hannah: If a therapist or anyone saw this, they would be like, “Ooh this person is so deep in the denial like stage. They are not dealing with their trauma at all.” By the way, this movie was written by not one, not two―three men.
Jake: Do you think when they added the third one they thought, “We’ll get it right with him!”
Hannah: So I’d imagine, doesn’t seem like they consulted any victims of sexual assault on this. Doesn’t seem like they talked to any women about this. Or know any women.
Jake: I strongly recommend if you’re, if your subject of a film that you are writing to become a movie; like, like talk, talk to someone that’s experienced this. If you have, then maybe talk to another one, and then a third, and then talk to many different people. And maybe, maybe look up some studies and talk to some psychologists, and you can even talk to fucking religious folks about this. Like have have perspective when you write this, and then decide the story you want to tell. Because what this is doing here is basically saying if people harm you, it’s on you to forgive them. Nooo. You are under no obligation, in any scenario, if you are harmed at all in any facet to ever forgive that person or to have a relationship with them. You are more than likely able to cut them out of your life, if that’s something that would make you healthier, you ought to do so. And you definitaly shouldn’t go trying to just fucking forgive your rapist unless you’re, you’re like a mental health professional’s like, “I think this is a step you need to take for your mental health. I don’t see that happening, but this is so fucking harmful. This is the last thing you need to be doing, okay? It’s not good. Just real bad.
Hannah: The whole movie essentially, it shows the rapist, and the movie is mostly about the rapist in a compassionate light.
Jake: Which I could be fine with if you do it correctly.
Hannah, facepalming: See, no.
Jake: Not in this way… It feels like there’s no actual accounting. He is in prison, but to him, it’s like ehhh. You know what I mean? Like he still gets a relationship with the, with the lady and the fuckin’―
Hannah: His life is made better by the crime he commits.
Hannah: Wow, it’s almost like your rapist isn’t a very nice guy. If only there were signs!
Jake: You don’t really get to blame the rape victim for the rape you committed. Or the sentencing that you experienced after that. You did the thing!
Hannah: But as the movie points out, he was drunk… Being drunk is Schrödinger’s Christian uhhh excuse because if a woman is drunk and gets raped, it’s her fault; if a man rapes and is drunk, it’s also her fault.
Jake: It’s half her fault.
Jake: So she got raped to teach this piece of shit a lesson. Okay.
[Rape statistics are shown to the music of Awesome God. Not a fun techno version that I’ve linked at the song title, a boring version you hear in white churches. I.E. the churches I was dragged to growing up. We all need to be renamed Daluchi. We all need to thank god that I was spared this “art” until I was solidly an atheist. I don’t wanna imagine how much more fucked up I’d be if I was presented this movie as good storytelling and morals. I just escape to a fantasy world, some people live in one.]
Hannah: So at this point, again, Julie is choosing seeing her rapist in prison over having a home for herself and her only child. Which of the three dudes do you think thought this was a good idea? That wrote this?
Hannah: So after reading like two Bible verses, Conner becomes a Christian because it is the beginning of the third act of the film. The first thing he does after converting is beat the shit out of the guys who killed his friend, so I guess he’s taking the whipping money-changers page out of the What Would Jesus Do book. I respect it.
[This is a common theme in christian movies: people becoming christians after reading a bible. And not just any kind of christian, the kind of christian that makes / partakes in these movies.]
Hannah: You can tell the movie was written by three men specifically because all of the conflict in the movie arises not because of the consequences of the rape and how it affects Julie. It’s all about how it affects the various men around her. It’s about her dad being mad, it’s about Cole being jealous of Conner, it’s about Conner being upset he’s in prison for the rape and having to deal with that. She’s not a character, she is a prop. It’s disgusting. It’s fucked… She has almost no agency. Her agency does nothing for the events of the film.
[This movie is made by people who look at Middle Eastern countries and say, “We don’t treat our women like that! We respect women!” Anyone claiming these movies don’t matter, the people making and watching and agreeing with these films murdered Roe v. Wade. Art is political, motherfuckers, and lots of artists have bad politics. Or pretend they have no politics. For some people, my very existence is political. Okay, fine then. Let me show you exactly what I’m against and what I’m for.]
Hannah: The implication that a rapist reading the bible would no longer make him feel the desire to rape or hurt others is so fucked and bizarre. The bible’s punishment for rape is forcing you to marry your victim. As far as some incels are concerned, that’s a goal, not a punishment.
Hannah: Again, I just wanna point out, this scene is like the climactic, emotional point of the movie, and it has nothing to do with Julie. It’s about the rapist confronting the father of the victim. Not the victim, the father of the victim because the people who wrote this seemingly are only able to understand this situation from the perspective of a man. That’s certainly a perspective.
Jake: That’s one you can explore, but not if she’s gonna fucking―she’s supposed to be the character!
Eli, during one of their fake ad segments: Raper. Because if all you are is a baby factory, who the fuck cares who starts the production line?
Eli: Again, this movie begins with wacky dad antics. This movie about rape is him being like, “The sprinklers are [boomer dad gibberish]!”
Noah: There’s no appropriate comic moments in the rape movie, but they find the worst fucking spots for ’em and just go, “Hey, guys, remember this wacky dude from earlier?”
Tom: And I would’ve gotten away with that rape if it wasn’t for those meddling kids!
Cecil: Instead of pulling the mask off, it’s a rubber.
Tom: And every single image is so goddamn flat. There’s no depth in this movie at all, it’s like filled with like a handycam.
Cecil: I feel like that’s an analogy for the whole movie though. There’s no depth in this whole film.
Heath: Well, I had a moment where I was like “what a weird way to like stage a rape. They must not’ve talked to any rape victims when they made this movie.” And then I was like “well of course they didn’t talk to any rape victims, cuz if they had, that person would’ve murdered them so that they couldn’t have made this fucking movie.”
Heath (after the halfway break): When we last saw our hero, he was a rapist, so fuck this shit.
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