For those of us who seek to protect our children from things they may not yet be emotionally equipped to handle…well, our job’s certainly not becoming any easier. We might want to think twice about letting them go to some of the new independent films coming out.
If it comes down to a choice between sex and violence, I suppose I’d have to choose sex, but why does that have to be a choice in the first place? Why does it seem as if it is becoming progressively more difficult to protect our children? Perhaps because that is exactly what is happening.
PARK CITY, Utah An 11-year-old boy spreads his semen over school lockers and repeats his father’s filthy epithets when he blows a shot at tennis; a 16-year-old girl hangs her blood-stained sheet on the clothes line to let her father know she’s lost her virginity; a 6- or 7-year-old boy proposes an exchange of bodily fluids in an Internet dialogue that might have given the characters in “Closer” pause; a 15-year-old stud becomes the heartthrob of a community’s older women; a 14-year-old girl drugs and binds a man twice her age with the intention of castrating him.
These are just a few of the scenes that are being watched with barely a raised eyebrow in new American work at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It wasn’t too many years ago that Larry Clark’s “Kids” had to be screened here unannounced after midnight due to its explosive revelations of the sex-and-drug-drenched lives of young New York teens, and Miramax had to technically disassociate itself from the picture for fear of protests.
These days, “Kids” would hardly raise a fuss, as it would be one of just a dozen or so films that bluntly explore some of the things young people do when their parents aren’t looking.
By comparison to what kids today are exposed to when it comes to sex, I feel as if I grew up in the Cultural Dark Ages- and I don’t say that because I think it’s a bad thing. Children will have to learn how to deal with sexual issues in their own lives in due time. Why does society feel the need to rush them along?
I am by no means a prude. Sex is a basic human need, and it is part and parcel of the human experience. Having said that, I see no reason why children must be used or their prurient interests appealed to in order to sell movie tickets. What is so wrong with letting children be children?
So much for the Age of Innocence, eh?