I recently watched the film Tyrannosaur. It is a film which has the power to make one come away and question, intersect, and pinpoint the acute pain, that can metamorph itself into a festering evil, sometimes unrestrained, sometimes disguised, behind different guises within all classes and cultures. A pain that can be life disabling for both perpetrator and the person on the receiving end. The film primarily was about physical violence transcending both poverty and wealth. And of how trust, Love, friendship and healing can transcend those same distinct cultures, bridging the void left by hurting and sin. It is powerfully used within the context of human relations. Revelatory and so worth seeing.
Over the decades there have been many films based upon the breakdown of relationships and marriages, and sometimes (though rarely) these films have dared to expose the breakdown through the lens focused on the sexual relationship of humans. Occasionally film makers are bold enough to expose the violence or the volatile and charged tension inherent to some breakdowns, either emotional or physical. In 2010 there was the heart-breaking ‘Blue Valentine’ and then the violently abusive ‘The killer inside of me’ in the 1980’s there was the emotionally manipulative ‘nine 1/2 weeks’.
There is however a far subtler evil, that is not so easily pinpointed, and makes not such visually riveting film material, and so is rarely investigated by the film genre. (Not that I am a big film boff). A subtle seed that is so intimate, it can be packaged away sometimes in the ‘love’ and unspoken privacy of married life, It is called Original sin. It often is not obviously evil, just a blemish that needs acknowledging. But as in the film Tyrannosaur it can fester into a niggling boil, that unacknowledged and unaddressed poisons, and may end in evil. Being human, (Tyrannosaur asks) is it an evil that we are all possibly, potentially capable of fulfilling?
The breakdown of a marriage, viewed through a couples sexually intimate relationship feels very exposing and uncomfortable to watch. It often feels cinematically taboo. It is delicate, could be seen as voyeuristic, and makes for controversial material. Its complex. Cultural. Individual. Esoteric. Vast. There are so many perspectives and angles with which to view any given situation. There are the quite different base male and female perspectives, which will ever be a tension for couples, writers, directors, actors etc alike. It brings into focus and question the dignity of all the real life situations, the characters concerned, and the individuals involved in the making of the project. As well as ultimately the dignity of the human race. It would bring into focus a magnified response, and all of its consequences. But I think it is revelatory, as it questions intimately the often denied inherent potential badness in human nature, that which is a strain of Original sin.
Sometimes Original sin can be so deeply denied within ones being, that it is almost retained sub consciously underground, by battle of moral reasoning. Hidden beneath the genuine outward layers of loving kindness and innate goodness and social upstanding. However in relationship breakdowns it may begin to reveal itself. In sexual relationships it often only shows itself in the remorse felt after the damage has already been done. When certain nuances of sexual expression are violated, from the mutual equal exchange of gentle physical love which can be unifying, to lovingly giving pleasure by intimately pleasing your partner, which keeps one magnetised to its source, to the hidden selfish grooming pleasure of being in control, whilst pushing the boundaries beyond the others pleasures of intimacy, to the point of physical pain and indignity, (as we disturbingly witnessed in the violent film Tyrannosaur) and in the film 9 1/2 weeks, even though being done in a ‘loving’ and ‘serving’ way) even though stopping when being asked to do so, or when personal barriers are broken and expressed, the boundaries broken can be fatal to the trust needed for intimacy. Being exploratory or adventurous in a sexual relationship, requires strict observance to the dignity of being human. The dignity of tender Love.
The trouble is that violence in these scenario often doesn’t feature and this doesn’t make for good film ratings. ‘Loving’ ‘serving’ ‘kindness’, misjudgment and self-gratification often do. Lack of perception features. Genuine remorse features, regret, even understanding. Learning and boundary making may be accomplished, with gentle compassionate love, forgiveness and healing may even be shared. By this stage one would hope self dignity has risen up victorious. But when dignity is violated on more than one occasion, or repeatedly, the breakdown of intimate relations is almost inevitable. It is then that the institution of marriage can be called into question. It is this regrettable Original sin that can be harboured, even within an otherwise loving relationship and at worst (as in Tyrannosaur) when violence is present can be fatal. Original sin doesn’t have to be sexual, but it is that blemish within man, that does not stem from the seed of selfless Love.
The intimate Love that should draw two people into Loving communion, should not only be upheld in dignity, but should only ever have grown in the first place from a mutually intimate Love of God, from God Himself. Above all, the beauty of a Holy Communion is His precious gift, intimate and gentle beyond all the gentleness of life, born out of the deepest understanding of tenderness, expressed and shared. Sacred beyond all Sacredness. It is the ultimate becoming One in triune with God, where two people whom Love each other body mind and spirit, intimately reverence each other, before the eyes of God the Creator, and in doing so go beyond, to reverence the Lord.
And anything other (but saved through friendship) is not worth the Original sin it is born of. However it might be worth making a movie that could inspire and educate humanity, where the wrong kind of ‘love’ and not just violence can also be exposed as being the cause of the breakdown of intimate relations within a marriage, and further afield within society. But in the mean time go and experience through a little inside window, the violent, raw bravery of Tyrannosaur.