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Old 10-05-2007, 02:10 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep

“There was such innocence to them

This leads credence to the contention that they were taken advantage



you're right, directors shouldn't follow their artistic impulses and strive for compelling characters portrayed by actors who have whatever quality a director is searching for. there thousands of kids in Hollywood who have been giving line readings on the Disney Channel for at least 3 years, it should have gone to them.




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The Humane Society no longer lets animals get harmed and I am sure having real horses get mangled would add some authenticity
i think you've mixed some things here.

if you're worried about violence against the boy himself, as his parents are, then you might have a point.

if you're worried about widespread violence between ethnic groups, it doesn't matter if it's Dakota Fanning getting raped, so long as she's portraying a Hazara.
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




then let's not release the movie in Afghanistan.

you can't do the movie without the rape scene. it's absolutely integral to the plot.


From reading these threads on this board I can really empathize with many of the members and understand how they have arrived at their beliefs.

You and I, my friends see eye to eye on many if not most things.


But, I do not think it is fair to look at this from our unique perspectives.


The world population is 6.7 billion people.
The U S is just over 300 million.

Our less than 5 % culture does not dictate or set norms in other cultures.


In India an actress would most likely lose her life for wearing a U S swim suit and kissing a man on screen.

We just can't tell over a billion Indians to just get over themselves.

The fact that there is blatant homophobia that puts people's lives at risk in probably over 1/2 the places on the planet
-is one the greatest crimes of our times.

Endangering these little Afghan boys is also wrong.
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
you're right, directors shouldn't follow their artistic impulses and strive for compelling characters portrayed by actors who have whatever quality a director is searching for. there thousands of kids in Hollywood who have been giving line readings on the Disney Channel for at least 3 years, it should have gone to them.
I think
City of God
is a great film because they used real kids from the slums of Brazil.

But, I don't think it is an either / or

these kids
or Disney actors/ fanning in black face


I do believe there are Afghan children living in the West that would not be at risk.


Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i think you've mixed some things here.

if you're worried about violence against the boy himself, as his parents are, then you might have a point.

if you're worried about widespread violence between ethnic groups, it doesn't matter if it's Dakota Fanning getting raped, so long as she's portraying a Hazara.
I do get your point

that no actual animals or children were hurt while making this film


but to me it just seemed a given
that these children would be in as much danger as an Indian actress doing a nude screen and remaining in India
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:29 PM   #24
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Originally posted by deep

Endangering these little Afghan boys is also wrong.


i'm just not sensing as great a threat as you and others are. i could be wrong, but this is what my cursory attention to this topic has told me. it seems to me that the parents don't want their son to portray a "submissive" male lest it reflect poorly on him and them, and they'd like a ticket out of Kabul, please, probably to West Hollywood (not enough $$$ yet to move to Beverly Hills).

it also seems to me that, while there might have been concern before filming, i don't think it was as obviously predictable as the NYT seems to think.

and, no, i don't think an Indian actress would be killed. would some angry people burn down a video store? probably. but who would do that? would a billion Indians march en masse to put her head on a pike? no. it's not so much that 300m people don't riot when they see culturally objectionable things on the screen, but the fact that maybe 3,000 people in a country the size of Afghanistan (or India) will riot (or worse) when they see something they don't like. these people are minorities within their respective cultures and as such should not be dictating what does and does not get made.
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
but to me it just seemed a given
that these children would be in as much danger as an Indian actress doing a nude screen and remaining in India


as i mentioned in the previous post, 1bn indians aren't going to come after said actress with torches and pitchforks. it's a minority within a minority that would actually resort to violence even if a majority of the population would "condemn" such a film. and this violence is unacceptable and must not be pandered to, in the same way that we must not pander to those who find cartoons of Mohmmad objectionable (in fact, they're on more solid intellectual ground than those who'd harm these Afghan boys).

i just don't buy the story that the parents and the kid never knew that it would turn out like this. the rape scene is the critical moment in the novel; it sets up everything that is to follow. you cannot have the story without it. perhaps the parents should have been more diligent?
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i'm just not sensing as great a threat as you and others are. i could be wrong
I think you and I may just talk pass each other on this one issue

I don't disagree with much of what you are saying


If you and Memphis want to be courageous and honest and be who you are in parts of America where bigotry is more tolerated, I salute and admire you.


If somehow, you found yourself in one of these despicable countries I would hope you would not risk and very likely sacrifice your life on principle.


And I still don't understand how you read this book



-which reads like a novel based on true events, history and customs.
Where being a rape victim is the most shameful thing there is, so much so that a little boy commits suicide.
And then dismiss the danger.


With that in mind, when I heard they were making this film I expected it would not even be filmed in Afghanistan.


Quote:
Originally posted by deep

I do believe there are Afghan children living in the West that would not be at risk.
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:55 PM   #27
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I do think the filmmakers took advantage of these kids and their families without knowing the possible consequences. I don't think it was malicious, but I do think it was callous and without much though given to cultural differences which might cause problems down the road for these children. The filmmakers wanted to make what they considered a good movie, which is great, but they should not do it by exploiting the child actors. While I don't think what the film makers did is inherently exploitative overall, I do think it is exploitative in this situation given the difference in cultures and the possible lack of sopistication of the child actors' families.
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Old 10-05-2007, 03:48 PM   #28
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i do disagree. i think the rape of a boy by a boy is more culturally taboo, despite the fact that it probably happens more often in Afghanistan.
I'm not sure about that. Acording to the UN, and going only by what actually gets reported, hundreds of Afghan girls and women per year are murdered by relatives in 'honor killings,' and while doubtless many of them are 'guilty' of what in fact was consensual sex, many others are murdered for having 'allowed' themselves to be flat-out raped, by our definition. I do appreciate the fact that homophobia is inevitably bound up in why for an Afghan man being raped is seen as profoundly shameful, and that in that cultural sphere the same terminology can offensively get applied both to being a consensual 'passive' partner and to being the (unwilling) victim of someone who seeks only to brutalize and humiliate (though the same is also true of women's sex 'crimes')--but surely what's depicted in the movie falls into the latter category, no? And this was a widespread fate of Hazara boys especially under the Taliban--many were taken from their families and used as sex slaves. It's an established means of collectively humiliating a particular tribe, clan or people in a way that it isn't in Western culture, where (historically) the men would more likely simply be killed, and the women raped or used as sex slaves instead.

Remember the Mukhtan Mai case in a tribal region of Pakistan a few years back? It culminated in the gang rape of an unmarried young woman, but it started with her 12-year-old brother getting gang raped and beaten for amusement by thugs from the dominant clan in the area, and essentially she then became the means of punishing her (lower-ranking) family for daring to speak up about their son having been brutalized. It was reported in the West as yet another sensational horror story about the fate of women in that part of the world (which led to a lot of problems for Pakistani women's rights groups, as well as death threats and in-house arrest for Mukhtan Mai herself, unfortunately), and that's accurate enough as far as it goes--but in the fuller accounts as reported in Pakistan, it was clearly also a horror story about clan-based social hierarchies, their implications for the people (men and boys obviously included) at the bottom, and the brutality with which those hierarchies can be enforced.

I tend to suspect those kind of underlying dynamics are at work here as well. Maybe not, maybe it's all just a question of fundie parents freaking out at their son perhaps being perceived as 'gay,' but I'd be wary of projecting that interpretation onto them.
Quote:
Originally posted by deep
In India an actress would most likely lose her life for wearing a U S swim suit and kissing a man on screen.
Eh, I doubt it. Bikini swimsuits and passionate mouth-to-mouth aren't Bollywood staples yet, no, but nowadays it's quite common for Bollywood actresses to appear onscreen in clothing (e.g. skintight short dresses) that would've been seen as explosively scandalous 15 years ago. And there've been 'wet sari' films, as they call them, for decades--basically the Indian equivalent of softcore.

But this is different because India's (as opposed to Afghanistan's) is a very cinema-literate culture--Bollywood far outstrips Hollywood in output--where most people of most all backgrounds can safely be assumed to have seen many movies in their day. Yes, the approach to narrative is quite different from ours--most Indian films closely follow one of a dozen or so familiar and predictable plotline types, and there's little concept of the individual-filmmaker-as-artist with a 'statement' to make--but to the extent that there are Bollywood filmmakers like Mani Ratnam (or expat Indian filmmakers like Deepa Mehta) who push the envelope and occasionally get flak of the 'burn-down-the-video-store' type over it, there the issue really is one of anger at the filmmaker and his or her 'statements' : e.g., Ratnam's depiction of Hindu-Muslim violence (and Hindu-Muslim romance) in Bombay didn't cause actual Hindus and Muslims to attack each other, nor did anyone expect it to; rather, it led to protests and a few death threats against Ratnam himself from specific Hindu and Muslim political groups, of the 'Fuck-you-and-your-gratuitous-exploitation-of-our-pain' variety. (To which the majority of Indian moviegoers' response was indeed, 'Grow up and get the hell over it.')

I'm not at all sure it works to use what Indian audiences can 'tolerate' as predictors of how Afghan 'audiences' (not that many there will ever see this film; it's more of a hearsay issue, I think) can be expected to react, though.
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:20 PM   #29
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Originally posted by yolland

I'm not sure about that. Acording to the UN, and going only by what actually gets reported, hundreds of Afghan girls and women per year are murdered by relatives in 'honor killings,' and while doubtless many of them are 'guilty' of what in fact was consensual sex, many others are murdered for having 'allowed' themselves to be flat-out raped, by our definition. I do appreciate the fact that homophobia is inevitably bound up in why for an Afghan man being raped is seen as shameful, and that in that cultural sphere the same terminology can offensively get applied both to being a consensual 'passive' partner and to being the (unwilling) victim of someone who seeks only to brutalize and humiliate (though the same is also true of women's sex 'crimes')--but surely what's depicted in the movie falls into the latter category, no? And this was a widespread fate of Hazara boys especially under the Taliban--many were taken from their families and used as sex slaves. It's an established means of collectively humiliating a particular tribe, clan or people in a way that it isn't in Western culture, where (historically) the men would more likely simply be killed, and the women raped or used as sex slaves instead.


i would imagine statistics would be impossible to come by, but my understanding is that many, many young boys are sodomized (for lack of a better word) by older men, and boys will sodomize each other as part of a power play (like beating each other up) as is depicted in the book, and i assume the movie. since it's so hush-hush, so taboo, i would imagine that no one speaks of it, unless, say, you were a Russian soldier in the 80s and happened to be a POW. so, yes, i agree, it's about humiliation more than overt homophobia -- actually, it's more like pre-homophobia, which, again, is still sexism in drag -- but i would argue that, since women are under such lock-and-key in Afghanistan, more men/boys are raped than women.
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:44 PM   #30
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Originally posted by Irvine511


but i would argue that, since women are under such lock-and-key in Afghanistan, more men/boys are raped than women.
I'd absolutely disagree.

Because your lock-and-key concept completely ignores the women being raped by their husbands, and those numbers, in a society like Afghanistan, could be astounding.
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:53 PM   #31
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I'd absolutely disagree.

Because your lock-and-key concept completely ignores the women being raped by their husbands, and those numbers, in a society like Afghanistan, could be astounding.


impossible to know, i agree.

but the absolute silence that surrounds prepubescent boys sodomized by older men speaks volumes to me,
though much like homosexuality, i wonder if the concept of "rape" between married people is as foreign a western concept. there's an amazing amount of homosexual -- not gay -- activity that goes in nearly all societies that keep women under lock and key, and much of it isn't all that consensual, especially when you're talking about age differences.
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:55 PM   #32
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To be quite honest, I would be very VERY surprised to find any society on earth where more men are raped than women. I'd be shocked, in fact.
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:58 PM   #33
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To be quite honest, I would be very VERY surprised to find any society on earth where more men are raped than women. I'd be shocked, in fact.


considering Yolland pointed to the collection of boys as sex slaves for the Taliban, and not women, i bet you could probably find this in Afghanistan.

to me, this was the crux of the novel. male-on-male cruelty via sexual submission that's really very common.
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:45 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
so, yes, i agree, it's about humiliation more than overt homophobia -- actually, it's more like pre-homophobia, which, again, is still sexism in drag -- but i would argue that, since women are under such lock-and-key in Afghanistan, more men/boys are raped than women.
But I'm not talking about how rape stats break down by gender, that's not the point. I'm saying that the incidence of 'honor killings' suggests that indeed it is just as 'taboo' for a girl or woman to be raped, that it doesn't make it any 'better' in the wronged family's/clan's/etc.'s eyes if the rape victim is female. It may well be the case that more men and boys are raped there than women--given its history as a means of reinforcing social hierarchies, that wouldn't necessarily be surprising--and obviously men are murdered for being gay (in our sense) as well, but the point is, either way such acts can be and often are seen as bringing shame on the entire family, clan, etc., with, perversely, further negative consequences for the victim.

Perhaps what you're suggesting is that when the womenfolk are 'locked up' to prevent them from becoming an accessory in the 'shaming' of their people, the menfolk effectively wind up picking up the slack, to the point where in chronically warring regions, male-on-male rape may even become 'normative' as a way of enforcing hierarchies. But I don't think "more taboo" is a very apt way to describe the effects of that, and certainly I don't see where it adds up to a case that family/clan agitation over such things is nothing more than homophobia. If a man murders his daughter for 'shaming' the family by having been raped by a (stronger) enemy, rather than seeking punishment for the rapist (which may not be socially feasible, and even when it is may require effectively agreeing that your daughter is a 'slut' by pleading for the offender to marry her instead), then of course the sexism involved in that is vile, but it doesn't make the intent to humiliate underlying the rape any less real or threatening. When the society you live in essentially operates along feudal lines and your group is at the bottom, how much 'justice' can you realistically expect to seek against a higher-up who uses rape to put you and yours in your place? Blaming the victim becomes a way of saving face.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:10 PM   #35
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Originally posted by Irvine511
to me, this was the crux of the novel. male-on-male cruelty via sexual submission that's really very common.
Are you suggesting that it is common in all societies to a roughly equal extent, or that it is more common in some societies than others?

We don't have to go to far back in history AT ALL to find examples in non-Islamist, Western societies.

Where does the British upper class boarding school tradition fit into all of this?


http://www.glbtq.com/literature/maugham_r.html

http://www.newstatesman.com/200610020050

Possibly the best conclusion we can draw is that these enclosed all male fraternities are not very healthy, regardless of what society they arise in.

I find the assumption that religion is an important factor in this pretty suspect (I'm not suggesting it's YOUR assumption)

In Britain, sexual exploitation of younger boys by older ones, and even by masters, was widely tolerated in boarding schools well into the 20th Century but the main religion practised was actually a fairly liberal branch of Christianity (Anglicanism), e.g. Anglican priests are allowed to marry. And the feudal aspect that Yolland mentioned wouldn't even have been a factor here - all of the boys came from upper class families, and most went on to high positions in business, the government, the army, etc.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:23 PM   #36
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Originally posted by yolland

But I'm not talking about how rape stats break down by gender, that's not the point. I'm saying that the incidence of 'honor killings' suggests that indeed it is just as 'taboo' for a girl or woman to be raped, that it doesn't make it any 'better' in the wronged family's/clan's/etc.'s eyes if the rape victim is female.


but even with an Honor Killing, the fact (of the rape) is allowed to be made public and the family has a means of redeeming itself. not so with male-on-male rape.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:25 PM   #37
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[B]

Are you suggesting that it is common in all societies to a roughly equal extent, or that it is more common in some societies than others?
i'd suggest that it's more common in clutres that are, for lack of a better word, pre-gay, or gay-denist.



[q]0Where does the British upper class boarding school tradition fit into all of this?[/q]


that's a very interesting thought -- i'm aware of this, but not at all familiar with it in a cultural manner.
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:11 PM   #38
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but even with an Honor Killing, the fact (of the rape) is allowed to be made public and the family has a means of redeeming itself. not so with male-on-male rape.
But by murdering their own victimized relative! You could just as easily argue that that points to a perception that men are more impervious to being used as a means to shame their families--that being male carries enough 'redemptive' credit in itself that such bringing of 'shame' upon the family can be tolerated (though not talked about), whereas a daughter is permanently 'spoiled' by rape (who'll want to marry her now? and what other value besides virginal marriageability does a daughter have?) and thus must be gotten rid of to save face, silence alone not being sufficient. I don't know that it gets any more 'taboo' than that. And honor killings aren't typically 'public' at all, on the contrary they usually happen at home and are committed by a father or brother.

Futhermore, I'm not at all sure it's the case that boys are never killed by their relatives or clansmen for having been raped. The local legal terms generally drawn upon by human rights activists in determining which reported killings qualify as 'honor killings' (karo kari, zina etc.) all by nature imply specifically heterosexual violations. And unless one's assuming from the get-go that this Hazara child actor's family, as well as all the other people Viacom's go-between spoke to ("Nearly everyone Mr. Kiriakou met said that the boys had to be removed from Afghanistan for their safety"), are simply making up the possibility of retribution against him from other Hazara, then that in itself would seem to suggest that there is indeed a risk of reprisal for 'shaming' other people besides himself.
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Originally posted by Irvine511
considering Yolland pointed to the collection of boys as sex slaves for the Taliban, and not women, i bet you could probably find this in Afghanistan.
There certainly were many reported rapes of women during all the fighting of that same period (late mujahideen-early Taliban years), as well as prostitution of women whose male relatives had been killed. I don't know that there was actual enslavement of Hazara women in that way, and some historians have suggested that those abuses of Hazara boys were more or less a malicious form of an existing, but not necessarily innately predatory, Pashtun custom of older men cultivating intimate relationships with (fellow Pashtun) early-teen boys (mehbub /ashna or haluk). But at any rate, in the case of the abducted Hazara boys, who were well below the Pashtun socially, it was definitely malicious.
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Old 10-06-2007, 10:54 AM   #39
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I hate that this is a movie....

It is absultely one of the best books I have read in recent time.
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:08 PM   #40
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I saw the preview last night

mind you I did enjoy the book

a lot!



but , watching the the big screen and seeing these little boys

it was almost like double whammy

the preview hit me harder than the book
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