15 February 2017

Did You Dare Watch 'The Strange Thing About the Johnsons'?

Did you watch the Grammys Sunday night?  Well I'm not here to talk about that!  LOL My timeline was filled with so many posts about the Grammys but another thing that was jumpin' on my timeline was chatter about this short film called the Strange Thing about the Johnsons.  Strange Thing is the brainchild of White, gay, Jewish filmaker, Ari Aster.   Apparently the 29 minute film had begun making its rounds on the internet once again since its creation in 2011 and was the subject of a lot of status updates across Facebook and Instagram this past weekend.  So many means and so many posts led me to want to check it out for myself.  So, I gave it a try and I will say that just like so many others, about two minutes in I was disgusted and turned it off.  Then I started doing dishes and had a little time to think.  I went back to it and I'm actually glad I did.

So, basically the film is about the "what if" scenario of a boy molestating his father.  *record scratch*  Wait, whet??!  Yes, you read that right.  It isn't graphic but it does explore the question of how this situation could possibly play out.  It's controvertial, to the say the least and it sparks a lot of thought but I think that's what film artistry is supposed to do.  It also forced us to have a conversation about a very taboo subject that blacks don't really like to talk about.  And even though it's rather unbelievable that a son could be molesting his own father, molestation and incest DOES happen in the black community quite often but it still isn't really talked about.  It's often it is swept under the rug and regarded as the "family's dark secret" while the victims of it suffer in silence.  Even though the film is considered a satire or dark comedy,  it encouraged us to think and talk about these subjects.  It asks the question, how was it absolutely ridiculous for a son to be doing this to a father but when a father does this to his son (or any other molestation situation) we treated as hush-hush and act like it's a dirty secret that we can't address?  While watching this film I picked up on the tones of manipulation, the blame, false consent, denial and all of the other factors there are usually present in a situation where something like this occurs.  To see it in a reversed role made it all that more obvious and it made me feel silly to know that there are actual situations where this family structure/situation is normal.  I have worked in victim services and have met so many children who were the victims of physical/abuse.  I almost felt like I owed it to every victim that I've ever encountered to watch this satirical film.  Sometimes it takes a joke to show you just how funny things really aren't...   If they could live through it then I certainly could stomach a little dramatization of it.

I can't tell you whether or not to watch it but I'm actually glad I did- at the very least to see what all the fuss was about.  If you'd like to see it click the link below.

Leave me a comment and let's talk about it...

Until Next Time...


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