Posted 10 days ago
The Melbourne International Film Festival has dumped a movie in which an android child has sex with its human "father", after a leading forensic psychologist warned it "normalises sexual interest in children".
Austrian director Sandra Wollner’s The Trouble With Being Born, which won a special jury prize at the Berlin Film Festival in February while also prompting audience walkouts, was due to screen at the online-only MIFF 68½, which opens on August 6.
While it does not feature any explicit sex scenes between the "Papa" character and his android daughter – played by a real 10-year-old disguised with wigs, a silicon face mask and a fake name – the sexual nature of their relationship is clearly implied.
Dr Karen Owen, a forensic pychologist and former manager of Corrections Victoria's Sex Offender Programs, viewed part of the film but said she was so disturbed by it "I ceased watching the movie and have deleted the link".
The film was “just wrong in so many ways,” Dr Owen said. "Notwithstanding the artistic intent of the movie, without question it would be used as a source of arousal for men interested in child abuse material.”
Dr Owen said the subject matter "normalises sexual interest in children" and would almost certainly lead to the movie being "used ... for arousal and masturbatory purposes". She added that images put to such use "do not have to be explicitly pornographic in nature"....(Read more)