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    Rape versus Murder in Movies
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    Senior Member roxics's Avatar
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    I've noticed over the years that people are a lot harder on rape in movies than they are murder. My first feature was a classic homage to Friday the 13th, it involved a killer running around murdering people in various ways. In one scene, a female character was nearly raped by a different character but managed to get away. I remember when we shot it people disagreed with it even being in the movie. One girl refused to be on set, one of the guys commented "people don't like rape in movies." This was back in 2003. Today I've read articles about people complaining about rape scenes in Game of Thrones. In both, plenty of murder is going on and no one seems to have an issue with that. On the scale of things, murder is worse. That is a complete and permanent denial of someone's autonomy. You have taken away their future. A court of law would see murder as worse. Even the Godfather saw murder as worse when he said that justice for rape was not murder but a severe beating. So why do so many people see rape as worse than murder in movies? Is it just because more people have experience with rape in their lives than murder?


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    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    I think almost everyone feels in the wrong circumstances they'd be capable of killing someone. But almost nobody feels they'd be capable of rape. Rape is more abhorrent and unnatural to people. Killing is not. Until very recently, our very survival as a species depended on us being okay with killing other things in order to survive, so that tendency remains, even if it's buried under layers of civilized behaviour conditioning. Some actually believe rape was also an evolutionary survival strategy, but I think we dropped that impulse much further back in our history than our impulse to kill.
    Last edited by Batutta; 09-04-2017 at 10:38 AM.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    Legally, murder is punished worse than rape.

    Cinematically, rape is harder to watch. That's because it is the confluence of sex and violence. Sex is the most physically intimate act two people can take part in. It supposed to be the culmination of love. And violence is the culmination of selfishness. And so it is very twisted, very uncomfortable --- basically torture.
    Last edited by combatentropy; 09-04-2017 at 02:03 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Batutta View Post
    I think almost everyone feels in the wrong circumstances they'd be capable of killing someone. But almost nobody feels they'd be capable of rape. Rape is more abhorrent and unnatural to people. Killing is not. Until very recently, our very survival as a species depended on us being okay with killing other things in order to survive, so that tendency remains, even if it's buried under layers of civilized behaviour conditioning. Some actually believe rape was also an evolutionary survival strategy, but I think we dropped that impulse much further back in our history than our impulse to kill.
    I think this is accurate. Killing can be justified under certain circumstances, but I don't think there is any circumstance in which rape can be justified.

    I don't think it is a stretch to say that rape is more traumatizing and brutal to the victim than murder, and I personally believe that rape should be punished just as severely as murder. Rape can leave the victim traumatized for life, while murder is likely more traumatizing for the victim's family than for the victim herself.


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    A lot of reasons. Rape has the torture aspect, where as many killings in movies are swift. Slow, torturous killing scenes are certainly harder to get through than your standard instant gunshot.

    We're also *alot* more desensitized to killing scenes compared to rape scenes. Most of us have seen hundreds of on screen deaths. Rape scenes are more rare.

    On a different note... not sure what kind of person this makes me, but I could watch 1000 human death scenes before watching one dog death.


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    that dog death thing probably applies to most people, actually. something about the way animals are innocent and not self aware etc etc. compared to humans.


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    Senior Member Capt Quirk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agcohn View Post
    I think this is accurate. Killing can be justified under certain circumstances, but I don't think there is any circumstance in which rape can be justified.

    I don't think it is a stretch to say that rape is more traumatizing and brutal to the victim than murder, and I personally believe that rape should be punished just as severely as murder. Rape can leave the victim traumatized for life, while murder is likely more traumatizing for the victim's family than for the victim herself.
    Rape will psychologically scar a person for life, where as murder is over and done. The victim isn't the one who will suffer for years, just their family and friends. Torture is another critter. I can watch a person get shot in the movies, and not put much thought into it. Watching Hostel made me cringe at points. And yes, watching years and years of violence on tv and movies, and even video games, does desensitize people. Seeing the murder rates in the news as they sky rocket, and you have to wonder how much is linked to the digital scenes. You really don't want weak minds to be influenced by rape scenes as well.


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    How violence is depicted makes a big difference. We have all seen so many people shot on screen that it means little. A gun on screen is a visual short cut, a symbol for violence that allows the audience to take it in stride. Even when the scenes started getting bloody with Bonnie and Clyde, we subconsciously knew that the pain was not real. The gun depersonalizes violence – after all, it is a machine that kills.
    But consider the killing scene in Dial M For Murder, where we see the protagonist almost strangled, and her defense with scissors. This is one of the most powerful depictions of violence ever - we cringe even as we participate in the stabbing. Rape is much more difficult to depict without really hurting someone. We experience the violence directly , as we would real violence.


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