I think it is absolutely the responsibility of an artist to look into darkness without blinking. I think it is important that we talk about morality and character and the way we dehumanize one another. But I also think the point has been more than made on film that rape is a terrible thing, and at this point, if you’re not contributing some new idea to the conversation, then you are literally just using it as a button, something you push to get a response, and that unnerves me.
If I had to pinpoint what bothers me most about the subject, though, it’s that our ratings system in this country is so broken that a film that contains a sustained, brutal rape sequence featuring full-frontal female nudity can breeze right through with an R-rating, but if you include a sequence in which two people engage in spirited, consensual sex and we see anything that resembles reality, you are automatically flirting with an NC-17 or going out unrated. We have created a code of film language in which the single most destructive act of sexual violence is perfect acceptable to depict in the most graphic, clinical detail, but actual love-making has been all but banished from mainstream film.