Tuesday 18 July 2017

Feminisation as Abuse. A look at 'The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things'

When Feminisation Becomes Abuse.

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things 2004 Co written and directed by Asia Argento, based upon the book of the same title by the female author JT LeRoy. Starring: Asia Argento, Peter Fonda, Wynona Ryder, Marilyn Manson and Jimmy Bennett. This is not a transgender movie but does feature a hugely controversial scene of male to female feminisation, by the mother of her young son. The photo (left) shows not a mother with her daughter but her son. This image alone caused many problems when the film was released on DVD in the UK. This artwork was originally used as the DVD cover, causing the distributers to pull the DVD back from distribution. A more generic cover which did not feature the feminized son was then used.

The film when initially released in 2005 the DVD was given an 18 certificate by the BBFC, today the same film presented as uncut only receives a 15 certificate by the BBFC. The films main theme is abuse, and the tattered relationship between mother and son. 

The sequence where the mother feminizes her son appears to be the only time in the film when she shows him some form of genuine love. The boy feels acceptance and love from his mother by becoming a girl. This is very short lived as this then leeds to another disturbing sequence which I won't outline here.

On the whole this is not a nice film and is very depressing and harrowing to watch. There is no-one to admire in the film and the poor boy goes from one form of abuse to another. It's a well done movie but has received many negative reviews which I feel have been unjustified. A hard film to watch which leaves a bad taste in the mouth after watching, and one you don't forget in a hurry.

Here is the synopsis of the first half of the film from Wikipedia

"Sarah (Asia Argento) becomes involved with a series of men who treat her and Jeremiah (Jimmy Bennett) poorly, and she uses them as an excuse to abandon her son. She disappears to Atlantic City with her boyfriend, Emerson (Jeremy Renner), and then abandons him; Emerson returns to their home and rapes Jeremiah. After a trip to hospital, Jeremiah's grandmother (Ornella Muti) takes him to a West Virginian radical Christian cult led by his grandfather (Peter Fonda). After he has been three years with the cult, Sarah returns to reclaim the 11-year-old Jeremiah (Dylan and Cole Sprouse).
Sarah's current lover, Kenny (Matt Schulze), a truck driver, eventually abandons them at a truck stop while Sarah is soliciting. Sarah realizes that if she is going to keep her men she cannot say Jeremiah is her son. She persuades Jeremiah to cross dress so he can act as her "little sister", and Jeremiah's cross-dressing evolves to include his mother's seduction techniques. After dressing up as a "baby doll" version of Sarah, Jeremiah/Sarah seduces Jackson (Marilyn Manson), his mother's latest man, who initially tries to rebuff the boy's advances, but then gives in. Sarah is furious with Jackson for giving in to the boy's advances and with Jeremiah for ruining her panties, and she takes Jeremiah and leaves......"

The DVD is easily available within the UK with a 15 certificate, from Amazon and other retailers.

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