Although somewhat late to the party, I recently perceived the American adaptation of “The Girl through the Dragon Tatalso,” starring Daniel Craig and also Rooney Mara. Like many viewers, I uncovered the unapologetically graphic and also confrontational rape scenes to be troubling. Popular blogs such as The Stir echoed a commonly-held sentiment that the scenes were too graphic or as well disturbing, making it hard to enjoy the film as entertainment. My initial reaction to the scene was equivalent. It is hard to take part as a spectator once watching the scenes in which Lisabeth Salander (Rooney Mara) is raped or coerced into percreating sexual acts in return for federal government support. The revenge scene is equally disturbing. Although Lisabeth subjects her tormentor to the same torture she withstood, tbelow is no feeling of triumph and also the victory feels hollow. Additionally the passive audience feels implicated for “enjoying” a movie via such deslrfc.orgerately disturbing product. 1

Having never read any type of of Stieg Larsson’s novels, I cannot speak to the means in which the message differs from its cinematic interpretations. However before, after reconsidering the methods in which the scenes impacted me as a viewer, I might not assist but feel manipulated. At the finish of the film, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) and Erika Berger (Robin Wright) rekindle their extra-marital connection and Lisabeth is left to watch coldly from afar. My initial impulse, in writing this reflection, was to discuss the use of rape as a plot gadget that concurrently evokes feelings of guilt, pity, fear, and shock in the name of entertainment. Knowing that Lisabeth’s moment of revenge is fleeting, and she is inevitably left alone at the conclusion of the film, the viewer is not afforded the opportunity to think of Lisabeth past the context of her treatment by male personalities as an item of exotic eroticism and also sexual subordination.

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Google search for “girl via the dragon tattoo rape scene”


Piqued by my own stress and anxiety over the abovementioned scenes, I determined to acquire a much better sense of how others reacted to the scenes. I noticed something disconcerting when I performed a Google search “Girl with the Dragon Tatalso rape scene,” the first two results gave in by the search are much more troubling than the scenes in the movie.

The first connect brings tourists to a sequence of spliced footage from the film which includes: Lisabeth in the shower after an enrespond to with her tormenter Niels Bjurguy (Yorick van Wageningen), Lisabeth in bed after a one night stand, and also Lisabeth and Mikael having sex. The second links brings visitors to an uninterrupted swarm of Lisabeth and also Mikael engaged in consensual sex. Google’s algorithimc conflation of rape and consensual sex, and the removal of any type of of the power dynamics evident in the connection between Mikael and also Lisabeth obscures the method in which the dynamics of sex-related power attribute as crucial elements of the film. The capability for viewers to alleviate Rooney Mara to the very same kind of sexual objectification withstood by her character is shocking. The scenes are defined as “warm sex scenes” or opportunities to check out the actual Rooney Mara nude and on film. When enveloped in the plot and engrossed in the filmic suffer, the scenes have actually a prouncovered effect on the viewer. However, as soon as scenes are decontextualized and rerelocated from the film, it becomes all also easy for the scenes to be lessened to their many base characteristics – namely nudity and eroticism.

What disturbs me a lot of around the recontextualization of the scenes virtual is the means in which viewers are able to subject Rooney Mara to the very same reductions suffered by her character in the film. In considering the conmessage of one’s viewing, and also the position of the viewer via respect to the work, I am reminded of a comment made by ethnographic filmmaker David MacDougall. In describing the multiple positions populated by the audience, he writes, “as members of an audience we easily accept the illusion of entering into the people of film. But we do so in finish safety, bereason our very own human being is as cshed as the nearemainder light switch.” 2

Although MacDougall is speaking specifically about observational cinema in the context of ethnographic film, our endure as viewers of famous cinema is largely similar. We identify via personalities in a method that allows us to be influenced by the points that occur to them. Our emotions become exceptionally conveniently tied to theirs. However before, we are granted security with distance. We are not bearing witness in any tangible sense, however our desire to suspfinish disidea and interact in a certain mode of viewing enables us to oscillate between reality and fantasy.

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What happens to the rape scene once its reproducibility decontextualizes it to the point where it have the right to come to be an erotic snapswarm on the internet? If something so profoundly disturbing to many type of audience members can be so easily reduced to an possibility to watch Rooney Mara naked rather of Lisabeth Salander being raped, how can filmmachines proceed to usage sex-related violence as a plot device? Is tright here somepoint inherently manipulative and problematic around such an employment in the first place?

What started as a meditation on a film came to be a curiosity about of the take a trip of the disembopassed away scene and also exactly how such decontextualizations deserve to impact our analysis of the movies from which they are poached. It is also essential to think about the ambiguous depiction of sexual violence in renowned cinema, and its influence on viewers. Furthermore, we must consider the ways in which the filmic endure is no longer relegated to the multiplex and home theater. Now that scenes deserve to be rerelocated from the bigger body of occupational, they more quickly feature in unintended and problematic methods.

Chris Patrello, PhD student in the Program in Visual and also Cultural Studies at The University of Rochester