Film left viewer feeling violated

Thanks to the Durango Film Festival board and the many volunteers for all that goes into creating the festival every year. It has enriched us and the community. My husband and I attend the Durango Film Festival for entertainment, inspiration and to experience life through the eyes of gifted filmmakers. Little did I know the impact that the Saturday night prime-time showing of the Chinese film, “A Touch of Sin,” would have on me.

I was shaken to the core by the violence, treatment of women and outright abuse that was displayed in nearly every scene. Even the one character who seemed to have a conscience turned to murder as his solution to the underlying story line: the injustice caused by capitalism. Since the movie wove four stories into one film, we waited for some redemption or resolution. We finally walked out during the movie in horror, after at least 15 brutal gunshot murders, the beating of a horse and the continuous beating of a woman, even after she collapsed to the ground.

Are you aware, when selecting films, what this kind of film does to the human psyche? Young people in Colorado have turned to school shootings to “level the playing field,” just as was dramatized in this movie as the solution to injustice. I have never been physically or emotionally abused, yet I felt personally violated by the film. The experience of “A Touch of Sin” felt as if some part of me had been shattered. It took loss of sleep and some deep reflection to find a sense of peace again. I work with people who have been abused, and can only imagine the very personal impact this film has had on them.

Going forward, I ask the board to consider the impact of its film selections on individuals and on the community as a whole. Yes there is greed, abuse and injustice in the world. This is an opportunity to find films that not only highlight varied perspectives, but also empower people – films that provide new solutions.

Karen Lovelien


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