September 24, 2008

AMC Pulls Hounddog

It is being reported at that Dakota Fanning's latest film, Hounddog, has been pulled from AMC owned theaters. The removal of the film from the chain's schedule came as a result of mounting pressure from family values groups.

Last year, when the film debuted, it was widely reported that there was a scene in the film that depicted Fanning's character being raped. Rape is obviously a touchy subject and an important issue that must be dealt with. It also appears that the very inclusion of such a scene is sure to send certain groups into an absolute frenzy. The outcry began last year, when the film was originally slated to open, and time has not lessened the blow.

I have not seen the film so I cannot comment directly on the scene or how it is dealt with within the context of the movie. I also suspect that the same may be said about those protesting the film's release. It seems that whenever anything like this comes up, protests sprout up based on what they heard rather than what they see. It is a shame that people are not allowed to make up their own minds rather than having these watchdog groups step in and make the decision for them.

Director Deborah Kampmeier said this in an interview with WENN: "I feel a lot of compassion towards these people that are so angry about the film. Rape is a really tough subject and the film deals with issues that are really painful to look at and I think that a lot of people don't have the support in their life to look at their own lives; to look at their own pain. Instead they're facing their pain and projecting their anger and their fear onto my film. A lot of agendas are being projected off this film that have nothing to do with the film and they're being projected onto it by people who haven't actually seen the film. It's too bad."

For what it's worth, the film does look interesting despite the lukewarm reception from critics, including a two star review from Roger Ebert. Although, while he may not particularly care for the film, he does applaud the performance of young Dakota Fanning: "(she) handles a painful and complex role with such assurance that she reminds me of Jodie Foster in "Taxi Driver."

The film also has the support of at least one organization, the women's group Now believes it is an important film and has urged its supporters to go and see the film for themselves.


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