“Last Tango” Director Must Be “Free” To Rape
Last Tango In Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci helped Marlon Brando rape actress Maria Schneider in the film’s infamous “butter” scene.
In a graphic assault, Brando used a stick of butter to anally violate Ms. Schneider, who learned about the scene just before doing it:
They only told me about it before we had to film the scene and I was so angry.
I should have called my agent or had my lawyer come to the set because you can’t force someone to do something that isn’t in the script, but at the time, I didn’t know that.
Bertolucci said he didn’t tell Schneider because:
I didn’t want Maria to act her humiliation, her rage, I wanted Maria to feel … the rage and humiliation.
She suffered for his success
Maria did feel like she was being raped and humiliated, and she cried real tears.
She also suffered as many rape victims do: trauma, serious drug addiction and depression.
Yet the film’s director felt no regret:
To obtain something I think you have to be completely free.
Well, his artistic success is all that really matters, isn’t it?
He must be completely free? But what about her?
He must be free? She must not?
Bernardo Bertolucci’s attitude reminds me of the “libertines” who once insisted on complete freedom from both social and moral restraint.
Beatnicks and the Marquis de Sade, for instance. Or, in the 1970s a man was acquitted of gang rape after convincing a San Francisco jury that he was a libertine who rejected all sexual limits. And his victim was a libertine too, he claimed, which was obvious since she had had consensual sex before. ???
Libertines have sought freedom to commit incest, rape, murder…
But this is really freedom only for the powerful.
The powerless victim isn’t free at all.
Only the powerful are free
The parent who commits incest is free. But the traumatized sons and daughters are not.
The libertine is free to rape and murder. But their tortured — and dying — victims are not free.
And the Last Tango director felt free to facilitate the rape of an unknown 19-year-old actress, who felt she had no choice but to suffer.
In “Pornography and Freedom” John Stoltenberg worries that “sexual freedom” too often means freedom from responsibility, consequences, or seeing the person.
Freedom cannot truly emerge without justice, he adds.
Without justice, only the powerful are free.
Posted on December 7, 2016, in psychology, rape and sexual assault, sexism, violence against women and tagged Bernardo Bertolucci, Last Tango In Paris, Maria Schneider, Marlon Brando, psychology, rape, sexism, sexual assault. Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.