The Disturbing Child Rape Movie That Left Sundance Speechless

In many respects, The Tale has been in the making for the last 35 years. But its Sundance Film Festival premiere Saturday afternoonthe first of this years festival to receive a standing ovation that we witnessedis so timely it could very well have been called: #MeToo, The Movie.

The Tale is a memoir film in which writer-director Jennifer Fox confronts the sexual abuse she suffered when she was a 13-year-old girl, having spent the next three-and-a-half decades of her life convincing herself that she was engaged in a special relationship with a 40-year-old man, facilitated by a woman she trusted.

Both were people in her life she loved: Mrs. G (names were changed from Foxs own life) was her equestrian trainer, and Bill was her running coach. Thirteen-year-old Jennifer is intoxicated by the regal, beautiful Mrs. G, and trusts Bill because of it. When Bill starts to coax Jennifer into a sexual relationship, she convinces herself that theyre in love. But she was just a girl. It was child rape.

Immediately following the post-screening Q&A, in which stars Ellen Burstyn and Jason Ritter broke down in tears talking about the movie, it became clear that this is the film everyone at Sundance will be talking about.

Its resonancea woman realizing that what she had thought was a consensual sexual relationship was actually child rapeis one thing. That it shows, with purposeful unflinching detail, Jennifers rape at age 13 is another. (We witnessed multiple people walk out after this.) But that it doesnt direct you how to feel about it, or moralize, or redeem, or reassure is its greatest power.

The Tale is relentlessly uncomfortable, and sometimes even aggravating. It wades into the murky waters of a complicated debate currently consuming culture, but doesnt seek to satisfy or conclude itwhich can be infuriating but is also necessary. It lacerates right through that conversation, letting the full range of opinions spill out. Yet it doesnt seek to stitch it back up again and heal. Because thats not its job.

Eventually she pieces together an explicit, clear-eyed recollection of the relationship with Bill, and we watch it play out on screen. Its sickening.

But The Tale isnt a linear narrative about a child who was raped. Its an adult womans journey to the horrifying realization that her innocence was preyed on; that she was abused in a way that impacted the rest of her life. Its her struggle through frustrating notes of denial, rationalization, misremembrance, and anger as she tries to piece together what really happened to hernot what her memory of it wasand why. How she feels about it now is almost an afterthought, until, at a major climax, it isnt.

Throughout the film, Fox plays with form, storytelling structure, and the truth in jarring ways hereat one point Laura Dern, who plays Jennifer as an adult, is actually in conversation with Isabelle Nelisse, who plays her at age 13to illustrate the myriad ways in which a person needs to communicate, with others and themselves, past and present, to reckon fully with an event like this.

When we meet Derns Jennifer, her mother (Burstyn) is leaving her a litany of emotionally charged voicemails, having just discovered an essay Jennifer wrote when she was 13 titled The Tale, which discussed the loving relationship she had with two adults: Bill (Jason Ritter) and Mrs. G (Elizabeth Debicki.) Her mother is beside herself. Suspicions she had 35 years before were true: these adults had taken advantage of her daughter.

This is why I didnt tell you, Jennifer says, dismissing her mothers concerns. Cant I just sit with my own memories? she pleads, preferring to remember the relationship fondly instead relitigate it as assault. Nearly every line of dialogue hits you like a cannonball, its relevance to the stories and confessions that have been chronicled in the #MeToo movement these last months uncanny. No, her mother says. I want you to nail them.

She starts to visit people she hadnt seen in decades, attempting to get a more detailed picture of that time that the years have blurredpart of her desperate search for a reason this happened to her. Or even to answer if anything happened to her.

You were raped, shes told multiple times. Its complicated, she instinctively retorts. She rages at the word victim, an indictment of the inherent lack of sensitivity in imposing a victim narrative on anyone who comes forward with a traumatizing story.

Eventually she pieces together an explicit, clear-eyed recollection of the relationship with Bill, and we watch it play out on screen. Its sickening.

Bill baits her with lines like, Youre not afraid of life, right, Jenny? Youre not afraid of living? He and Mrs. G flatter her by telling her that shes special, that they think of her as an equal, that they think they can trust her with secrets. Then we start to see the rape happen.

Would the film be as powerful if the acts were implied, instead of shown to wincing eyes on screen? Perhaps. But arguably, too, the impact is in bearing witness to the things Bill says and does and their brutal reality.

It starts with Bill getting Jenny to cuddle with him under a blanket. He says she deserves better than silly young boys; that he wants to save her from them. He phrases things in a way to make her think its her idea, like to take her top off, giving her the false comfort of an agency she doesnt have.

We see them make out and it is grotesque. We see him, over multiple scenes that take place over a series of weeks, attempt to penetrate her. We have to keep stretching you open, slowly, he says. And then again: No young boy would do this for you. We see her give him a blowjob when it doesnt fit. Eventually it happens, the camera switching between her face and his as it does.

The film ends with a disclaimer that the sex scenes were shot using an adult body double. Nelisse, who was 11 at the time of filming, only shot the dialogue parts of the scene, which are graphic in their own right. Fox would coach her on how to react properly to the pain of losing ones virginity: Act like youve been stung by a bee.

It would be impossible to list the myriad tenets of the conversation surrounding abuse and victimhood that the film explores. Should there be guilt or shame? Is she emotionally scarred? We wouldnt purport to answer any of those questions, and maybe the film doesnt intend to either. And thats the prickly part of it, the thing that will keep us and anyone who sees it itching long after it ends.

While watching it, youre not exactly sure what Jennifer wants the outcome of this whole journey to be, and youre especially not sure what you want it to be either. What are you rooting for, if anything at all? It all builds up to a confrontation between Jennifer and Bill. Is it satisfying? Could it possibly be?

Casting Jason Ritter as Bill was a crucial decision. His image, based on the characters hes played in Parenthood, Girls, Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, is that of the consummate nice guythe adorable, safe, all-around good guy. The whole idea was to take out of the closet the idea that perpetrators arent monsters that we can pick out, Fox said after the film. Mission accomplished.

There was an air of speechlessness as the standing ovation died down. How does someone talk about this film? What do we even say? Its something that Burstyn herself acknowledged, before beginning the dialogue in an impassioned, immediate way: The exploitation of innocence is a deep, criminal crime, and its time now, right now, in this moment in our history, to change it.

But she wasnt done. And I want to thank Donald Trump for that disgusting tape that he made that we all heard that was the final straw that broke the camels back, she said to rousing applause. And we can now at last deal with this problem that has gone on for centuries all over the world. This film is giving voice to it.

More From this publisher : HERE ; This post was curated using : TrendingTraffic

 


RELATED PRODUCTS
  • If You Know a child with troublesome behavior, review these 'treatment plans that worked'.
  • Designed to quickly help your child overcome the anxious feelings.
  • This is the most important relationship in creation than any relationship you have.
  • Video Reveals How To Teach Your Child Aged 2-9 To Quickly Read At Home
  • Join the surge of parents learning to treat their child the truth
  • a simple, easy to understand program that will develop your child reading ability.
  • A Stunning New Discovery That Shows How Your Child Can Get Higher Grades in 14 Days.
  • Clickbank Ads
     

    If you like our content help us with a share… or two …  

    Also -  I have some free stuff for you .......

    Nr 1. In This FREE Report you can Discover:

    Secrets to acquiring the freshest, hottest leads via YouTube In-Stream ads quickly and easily! Best secret tips for the most effective targeting for your ads! Totally legal, but little-known method for literally stealing traffic from your competitors! Get more traffic to your videos and landing pages without spending a fortune! And much more - all within this special FREE report!

     

    Nr 2. Did you know you can Absolutely EXPLODE YOUR EMAIL LIST FOR FREE with UNTOUCHED offline sources?

     

    Nr 3. The #1 secret to becoming an affiliate superstar - Earn your first $100 online – without a dime to invest.

    If you’re still looking to “make it online – I have just the thing for you. It’s a video series that shows how to make your first $100 online – even if you don’t have a dime to invest. Yes – nothing.  Free.  Nada. Is this possible? You bet. It’s the most powerful system used by those “in the know”. Good things don’t have to be difficult. And they don’t only come to those who wait. Have A Look

     

    Nr 4. Top 10 Email Marketing Mistakes. Which of these mistakes do you make?

     

    Nr 5.  You can learn about : The hottest social networking site that will send an unlimited stampede of traffic to your site - for FREE! How to quickly locate a swarm of hungry buyers using "information portals"! The fast and easy way to use simple images to siphon targeted traffic, on command! Learn how to get the most possible traffic from Instagram, and make sure that traffic converts! And much more ...

     

    Nr 6. It’s no secret… Facebook is an incredible place to get tons of free, viral traffic. But… most people are going about it all wrong.  How many of these mistakes are you making? Download the free report to find out.

       

    Nr 7.  Special free report .  It's called "Operation Midas Touch" and you can download it here...

    The report features a surefire method for generating at least $1000 per week online,without a website or product of your own!

    Nr 8.  Instagram is still one of the hottest ways to get a LOT of traffic fast. All by sharing images. Sounds easy enough, yeah? Well, yes and no. If you want to really start driving a lot of  traffic and making sales using Instagram then you should download this report.

    Nr 9.  When it comes to creating a product online there are so many ways to approach it. Wouldn’t it be great to just get the meat of it all so you can get started faster? Well, the good news is, today you can download a guide called the Product Creation Formula Quickstart Guide. It’s as the title suggests - a Quickstart guide. You’ll get a list of action steps to take right away. Download your copy today !

    Nr 10. Would you like to finally USE all of that dusty PLR you have sitting around on your harddrive? Or maybe find the resources for the best PLR available - at the best prices? What about how to use that PLR to make you money with just a few minutes of work. Well, you’re not going to want to miss this!

      Nr 11. Buzzfeed’s top post has more than 21 million views. Think about that for a sec… ONE of their articles has had over 21 million people who have read it! And they have thousands of articles... what would you do with that kind of traffic? A friend of mine hacked their method and was able to use it to get 11,592 targeted new subscribers in 2 weeks on their very first attempt!

    Nr 12. Push notifications are one of today's hottest trends in website traffic and conversions, and for good reason. Studies have shown that as many as 40% of people will opt-in for push notifications, which is about TEN TIMES the rate of people who opt-in for emails! That’s huge! Not only that, but they're also highly effective at pulling clicks, as well. Some studies have shown CTR at an average of around 40%, with highs of as much as 80%! Again, that’s huge!

    Nr 13. Would you like to know how to get more money from the exact same number of website visitors you’re currently getting? Even if you’re website is getting as few as 1-2 visitors a day, this report will show you how to increase your profits using these few handy hacks.

    Nr 14. People have now realised that it's not the size of the list which matters, it's the quality. ... and the only way to create a quality list is by launching your own products. Let it be $7 ebooks, $17 info products, $27 video training product or software's... all of these work. My good friend Kevin Fahey has is revealing how he's launched over 20 products in the past 4 years, many of them top sellers. Needless to say he's banked a handsome amount in this time.

    Nr 15. Do you ever feel that the man you like or even love, just doesn't see you or desire you in way you want him to? Or... maybe you're able to get a man's attention though not the right kind of attention? Or... maybe you're still single because you wait and wait for men to approach you first? What you may not know is that the way we flirt will either attract the "wrong" man for us or the "right" man.

    Nr 16. When it comes to getting sales and leads online, there is ONE thing that 95% of marketers use... it's called a LIST. My friend Jimmy just released a free book that explains WHY a list is important and how YOU can build your own list. It's available right here (and it won't cost you a penny)

    Nr 17. If you have tried everything, and still aren't able to get your Ex back, then you need to pay attention.

    Nr 18. What if I told you that you could make ANY woman WANT to do ANYTHING for you? Would you think I'm crazy? Well... what If I told you that you could also make her LOVE every minute of it and come back for more?

       

    Nr 19. I have a special free plugin for you today. It's called "Covert Hover Mini"

    This plugin will triple your blog traffic by compelling your visitors to share your images on social media. This is some really clever stuff and it works like a charm. After you grab your free plugin, don't  forget to read the free bonus report as it will show exactly how and why this strategy works like crazy.

    Nr 20. The days of being able to get away with a basic WP theme and a pic or two are gone, your site needs to look good. Even Google are looking for you to have engaging graphics on your site. But getting good quality graphics made for your site is a pain, AND it will cost you both time and money (if you outsource it). But I have a special free download for you today. A virtual treasure chest of over 21K profit pulling graphics you can start sing today to generate more traffic & sales!

    Nr 21. 20 professional full HD background videos. These background videos are perfect for giving your videos that extra kick they need to stand out from the crowd Oh yeah they are in full 1080p HD too, I hope you'll enjoy them.

    Nr 22. If you've ever failed to create a WordPress site of your own or typically waste hours & even weeks trying to figure it all out on your own....

    Nr 23. No doubt, you've seen all of the video launches lately! There is a reason for it... Video marketing is a GREAT way to make money, and with the recent creation tools making it super accessable for anyone to get started... It's no surprise that more people are making videos. However... there is a missing element to most video marketing products...

    Nr 24. For the first time ever... You can get the straight scoop on how someone is selling over $1,000,000/year of t-shirts on Facebook!

    Use them  .... and have fun !