6 Domestic Violence Movies That Are Hard To Watch
Movies take a look at all sorts of human interactions. But while Hollywood puts a glossy coat of polish on almost everything, it's virtually impossible to underplay the brutality of domestic violence. Frighteningly real and all too familiar for so many people, domestic violence is among the hardest things to witness, especially in person but even on film. These six movies shine a spotlight on a horrible problem, and their scenes of domestic violence are truly difficult to watch.
"Sleeping With The Enemy"
Julia Roberts and serious drama may not exactly go hand-in-hand. On top of that, this movie tends to veer into "not so good" territory. But there are several scenes that are downright frightening, as the story of a woman who faked her death to escape her abusive husband only to have her husband track her down, takes center stage. Julia's demented husband is relentless in his pursuit, and his scenes of interrogation while he looks for his estranged wife suggest that life with him may have been a real Hell.
"The Burning Bed"
A 1984 TV movie may not sound like it'd be too difficult to watch, at least as far as brutality, but trust us when we say that "The Burning Bed" is gut-wrenching. For its time, this movie tackled an issue that many people were uncomfortable talking about, leading many women to suffer in silence. Based on the true story of abuse victim Francine Hughes, who suffered thirteen years of abuse, this movie is about the night she set fire to her husband as he slept. She was later found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity. The bruises on her face were reason enough to justify her actions.
"What's Love Got To Do With It?"
The story of Ike and Tina Turner has been well-documented. Tina eventually plucked up the courage and strength to leave Ike, the man who had helped elevate her music career. In the process, Ike robbed her not only of every penny she had earned, but also had robbed her of her humanity. There are a number of scenes in the movie that make for tough viewing, but Ike's brutal beating of his wife in the back of a car stands out in particular. As rough as the movie can be at times, it's nothing compared to what Tina really had to endure.
"When No One Would Listen"
Lifetime Movies are famous for their skewed movies that paint all men as horrible people, but in the case of "When No One Would Listen," the husband in question is absolutely awful. This movie is actually based on the real story of Pamela and David Guenther. Pamela left her husband after she and her son suffered years of abuse, and later David hunted her down and murdered her. The theme of the movie is that many times claims of abuse are dismissed by ignorant people, and that sometimes the justice system fails. Fortunately, attitudes are beginning to change, and stories like this are the reason.
"Once Were Warriors"
If "Sleeping With The Enemy" glosses over some of violence in domestic abuse, "Once Were Warriors" strips away the veneer and takes a hard look at its brutality. The movies based on the book by the same name, is chock-full of scenes of abuse, which is pervasive in the small family that lives in Auckland New Zealand. Among the worst scenes is the one in which the family patriarch, Jake, brutally attacks his wife at a family gathering. The whole movie is tough to watch, but that scene in particular stands out.
Frederick Wiseman has produced a number of great documentaries, but his 2001 film, aptly titled "Domestic Violence," is often heralded as one of his best. The film is remarkably stripped down and minimalist, featuring no narration or bells and whistles. Instead, Wiseman lets his camera do the work, letting the women in a Florida women's shelter tell their stories. Each woman's tale is terrible in its own way, and anyone who sees the film will never forget the terrible things that have happened to these women.