| Birth (2004) |
Booed at the Venice Film festival, a single scene in which a nude 36 year old Nicole Kidman plays opposite an equally nude 10 year old boy, has come to be what this movie is all about. Yes, there is a theme, a plot, and some good acting in this one, but it is no "Lord of the Rings", nor even a "Sixth Sense".
Ten years after her husband's death Anna, played by Kidman, meets a ten-year-old boy who claims to be the reincarnation of her dead husband. She is skeptical, but eventually comes to believe the young boy and falls in love. The exploitive bath scene is intended to demonstrate that even as romance grows between them, the age difference makes it difficult for the relationship to progress to sexual intimacy.
In a nutshell, the passage of time presents limitations on Anna's ability to heal her many emotional wounds. This is true for all of us. We cannot turn back the clock, bring back dead loved ones, nor be the person we might have been had the world been kinder to us in our formative years.
But all of this clever plot line is overshadowed. Dubbed "Mary Kay Letourneau meets 'Ghost,'" by the New York Post, this film asks the audience to see sexual discussions and a nude romantic kissing scene between an adult and a young child as acceptable. But the real point is that it is ok, because the victim is a boy rather than a girl.
Yet one more double standard, we see women who molest boys, receiving jail sentences of roughly one third as long as those for men who molest girls. (Remember that Letourneau's original sentence was only a few months.)
Just last year, perhaps the most famous feminist of all, Germaine Greer, published a coffee table book "The Boy" comprised of paintings and photos of under-aged boys in various states of undress. In this book she encourages adult women to molest young boys and advocates for their right to do so.
It is a fault and a weakness of our culture that greater compassion is felt for female victims, just because they are female. To take advantage of that for publicity and to bring forward boys as acceptable victims is so wrong as to make any other aspects of this film unimportant.
- Reviewed by Paul G.