The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Brave One

I got the following email this morning, from a friend who has suffered personal violence. She speaks of her reaction to the Jodie Foster film "The Brave One." Some reviewers got it, some didn't. I very clearly understand the sense of shock when violence comes into our lives. I got the movie, and why Foster was attracted to it. It is a revenge film with a soul. If not perfect, it is disturbingly well-done, with only occassional lapses into B-movie territory. Here, with all identifications removed, is this lady's comment.
####
"It is astonishing, numbing, to find that inside you is a stranger. A sleepless, restless stranger who keeps walking, keeps eating, keeps living." (said by Erica Bain in The Brave One)

We went to see Jodie Foster's new movie, The Brave One, last weekend. I haven't stopped thinking about it since. It was not what I expected. A vigilante move. Guns and violence. The violence in most films just leaves me numb. This film left me raw. It was both riveting and terribly difficult for me to watch. I rarely cry these days. At movies even less. This one had me sobbing at one point. It's not a tear-jerker movie. But it managed to hit me in a place I live.

I have rarely seen the experience of being the survivor of an assault that captured anything close to how I feel about it. This did. Want to know where I live? See it. There but for the grace ... of family and friends... am I. It is her isolation in the midst of the shattering pain and fear that drives Foster's character in the film to kill. I know the urge. I think it is the people who love me who made, and continue to make, the difference. They keep the rage from becoming all consuming.

Despite the title, this film is about alienation, not bravery. One of the amazing aspects of this film is the way it shows how such a trauma can rob the person of the sense of self. She becomes, in her words, “another person — a stranger to the person you once were.”

People thought of me as "fearless" before the event. I used to have no understanding of those "pitiful" people who were so terrorized by an event that they couldn't leave their home. Then I got to know the experience at the gut level. I am better now. Better but not returned to the person I was. There is a moment in the film that used mood and camera as well as Foster's amazing acting talent to really capture the way that fear can force you into isolation.

Another point in the film that made me cry out as if struck was a near direct quote for things I have said. "I miss who I was with him." I believe that one of the reasons I do better when my son is home is that I like who I am when I am with him. When he leaves, it is always a kind of small death of the self I prefer to be.

One aspect that the move glosses over is that most people damaged as badly as this character was will never be healthy again. Hard to move on when you are always in pain. They skip over what would have been months, if not years, of physical therapy and continuing health issues. The film focuses entirely on the psychology losses.

A part of me had hoped I would find a way back to at least most of who I used to be. Part of my grief - rage and sadness - is accepting that will never happen. Though I have problems with some part of the movie, this is one I had to agree with. Such experiences change who we are. The question is how to be that changed person. The character in the film doesn't find that. I sometimes wonder if I have.

I know that one of the ways I am working through my own issues is through the fiction I write. Recovery from assault is actually a common theme in many of the novels I have written in the last year. The characters find that horrible things can happen and you can still find a way to live a meaningful life. Sometimes I believe it. Other times, I remember this is fiction. I know that writing the characters' triumphs over such tragedies does bring me a large measure of comfort and relief from my own pain, both psychological and physical. It may not be perfect. It is a hell of a lot better than taking massive doses of pain killers or other medications (done that) or going around hunting down strangers who deserve to die.

30 comments:

lostsoul said...

I loved reading your blog. It is everything I feel but I'm unable to express in writing. I went through a traumatic experience. Was assaulted by my ex who was in prison for what he did but is getting out today. I was feeling very reflective on the whole thing. I watched this movie this past week and it touched me so much. I was sobbing for a while. It really did hit close to home. Brought so many feelings to the surface. I don't see many movies that touch me as much as this one did. It was so well done.

Great Blog!!!

Anonymous said...

ninety day powerseller -
pc optimizer pro -
pregnancy miracle -
pregnancy without pounds -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
quit smoking today -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
retrievea lover -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket italian -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -
seo elite -
spyware cease -
spyware remover -
spy zooka -
stock assault -
talking to toddlers -
the action machine -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the rich jerk -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret fat loss secret -

Anonymous said...

turbo cash generator -
turbulence training -
twitter online system -
uncle sams money -
underground hypnosis -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
water 4 gas -
wedding speech 4u -
wp goldmine -
wrap candy -
xsite pro -
zygor guides -
37 days to clean credit -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate prophet -
affiliate video brander -
anti spyware -
art of approaching -
atomic blogging -
auction classified cash -
automated cash formula -
bbq book -
bloggers pay check -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cheat your way thin -
chopper tattoo -

Anonymous said...

cleanup the profits -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
commission blueprint -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for bruxism -
declutter fast -
driver checker -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex ambush -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -
homebrew installer -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
instant article wizard -
jamo rama -
joyful tomato -
lose man boobs -

Anonymous said...

lower body make over -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
maverick money makers -
meet your sweet -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
natural cancer treatments -
niche review templates -
nyhms warcraft guides -
pappa pc -
pc booster -
pc optimizer pro -
pc secret formula -
pda flix -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
push button ecover -
reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -
silent sales machine -
silver lotto -

Anonymous said...

spyware cease -
super affiliate handbook -
the 11 forgotten laws -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret fat loss secret -
turbulence training -
twitter rockstar -
uncle sams money -
underground hypnosis -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warcraft millionaire -
warcraft wealth -
warp speed fat loss -
webcomp analyst -
wedding speech 4u -
win back love -
your software website -
zox pro -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate elite -
anti spyware -

Anonymous said...

anti spyware bot -
article bully -
art of approaching -
auto pilot profits -
bbq book -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
chopper tattoo -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for tinnitus -
debt free in three -
driver checker -
duplicate file cleaner -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -

Anonymous said...

forex auto money -
forex auto pilot -
forex confidante -
game tester guide -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -
higher faster sports -
homebrew installer -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
i am big brother -
instant profit machine -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
lose man boobs -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
magic of making up -
make money taking surveys -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my airfare secrets -
my miracle loans -
my out of control teen -
natural cancer treatments -
ovarian cyst cures -
pc optimizer pro -
piano for all -

Anonymous said...

prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
pvp bible -
quick article pro -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reg tool -
relationship headquarters -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
satellite tv pc master -
secrets book -
spy no more -
spyware cease -
survey scout -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the guru assassin -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
turbulence training -
two minute profits -

Anonymous said...

vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
web traffic machines -
wedding speech 4u -
wind plans -
xp repair pro -
your fun business -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
anti spyware bot -
art of approaching -
banish tinnitus -
beat eczema -
blood pressure normalized -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cpa arbitrage -
creative date ideas -
debt free in three -
digital background -
dirty talking guide -
discus fish secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
dw insider -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy tv soft -
easy web video -

Anonymous said...

eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
error doctor -
evidence smart -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit over 40 -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto pilot -
gain opinion -
gold secrets -
government records -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
green diy energy -
healthy urban kitchen -
highest pay surveys -
holo think -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
keyword elite -
learn photoshop videos -
lmt forex formula -
lower body make over -
macro virus -

Anonymous said...

malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
microcap millionaires -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my list strategy -
my phone riches -
natural cancer treatments -
online tv pc -
panic away -
pdf creator -
peel away ads -
pips leader -
ppc web spy -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
questions for couples -
quick article pro -
quick paid surveys -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
registry winner -
reg tool -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket german -
rotator cuff training -
rss feeds submit -
satellite pc box -

Anonymous said...

save the marriage -
spy no more -
spyware stop -
super seduction power -
surefire trading challenge -
tattoo me now -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the dog food conspiracy -
the mini site formula -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
truth about abs -
twitter trick -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
win clear -
xbox 360 red light fix -
xp repair pro -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
advanced defrag -
alpha male system -
amazing cover letters -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article rewriter -
art of approaching -
auto cash system -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -

Anonymous said...

is lorazepam stronger than diazepam buy diazepam tablets online - diazepam to buy online

Anonymous said...

diazepam overdose diazepam dosage for sleep - diazepam 2mg help sleep

Anonymous said...

generic zolpidem zolpidem tartrate generic ambien - generic zolpidem price

Anonymous said...

diazepam online diazepam dosage weight - what's the difference between valium and diazepam

Anonymous said...

buy zolpidem online zolpidem generic identification - ambien side effects in men

Anonymous said...

buy xanax .5 xanax effects - paxil xanax and alcohol

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam online online pharmacy no prescription diazepam - much 10mg diazepam

Anonymous said...

order lorazepam ativan withdrawal tinnitus - lorazepam bp 1mg

Anonymous said...

diazepam 5mg diazepam 10mg side effects - diazepam dose in seizure

Anonymous said...

ambien sale history drug ambien - buy generic ambien online no prescription

Anonymous said...

no prescription:valium use valium depression - cheap valium uk

Anonymous said...

buy valium online legally how much valium cost - valium vs xanax insomnia

Anonymous said...

buy valium online buy valium 10mg - valium pill high

Anonymous said...

online pharmacy for valium valium drug description - diazepam valium xanax

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online chemical name drug ambien - generic ambien cr

Anonymous said...

order ambien without prescriptions drug interactions ambien benadryl - ambien xr side effects

Anonymous said...

buy valium online buy valium spain - buy valium online no prescription cheap