A powerful video on CSA.

Thanks @silverlightgal for the link.

Telling a Story

Sometimes a video or a clip or a movie can convey something more powerfully than a long-winded article on the same topic. Here, I present to you a clip that is based on the theme of CSA.

Short Term 12

In this 2013 American drama film, Grace (Brie Larson) is a woman in her twenties running a foster care center for troubled kids.

This clip shows a poignant scene featuring Grace  and a teenager, Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever) in which Jayden attempts to convey that she has been abused in the only way that she knows how…by telling a story. There’s nothing graphic, nothing explicit in this scene, yet it conveys so powerfully what the kid is going through. When Grace enters Jayden’s room, she (and likewise we) have no idea what’s going to come next. But as the scene unravels, we slowly grasp its deeper meaning. We, like Grace, begin to understand the gravity of the situation. Yet there are no hysterics, no screaming, in fact, even the word abuse (let alone SA) is not mentioned in the entire scene. That’s powerful and fantastic filmmaking.

Link to the video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-bl6zn7xvA

(Uploaded by twopointohhh)

For those who can’t follow the dialogues, here’s the transcript:

GRACE

You okay?

Jayden nods.

GRACE

Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow.

She gives Jayden a side-hug and begins to leave.

JAYDEN

You wanna see a story I’ve been working on?

Grace turns to her, a bit surprised.

GRACE

Of course.

Jayden opens her sketchbook to the back page, where there is a homemade pocket taped to the inside cover. She pulls out a folded piece of paper and opens it carefully. Grace watches her, patiently.

She flips back through her notebook to a page that is covered with cool illustrations of underwater scenes and creatures, particularly sharks and octopi.

JAYDEN

It’s a kids’ story, so there aren’t any big words.

GRACE

Okay.

Jayden begins. As she reads, she points to the illustration that she wants Grace to look at.

She points to a small sketch of a cute little octopus.

JAYDEN

Once upon a time, somewhere miles and miles beneath the surface of the ocean, there lived a young octopus named Nina.

She points to various drawings of the octopus making funny artwork out of shells and sand.

JAYDEN

Nina spent most of her time alone, making strange creations out of rocks and shells. And she was very happy. But then, on Monday, the Shark showed up. She points to a drawing of a Shark swimming up to Nina. “What’s your name?” said the  shark. “Nina,” she replied. “Do you want to be my friend?” He asked. “Okay, what do I have to do?” Said Nina. “Not much,” said the Shark, “Just let me eat one of your arms.”

Nina had never had a friend before, so she wondered if this was what you had to do to get one. She looked down at her eight arms, and decided it wouldn’t be so bad to give up one. So she donated an arm to her wonderful new friend.

JAYDEN points to a morbid drawing of the shark eating one of Nina’s arms.

JAYDEN

Every day that week, Nina and the Shark would play together. They explored caves, built castles of sand, and swam really really fast. And every night, the Shark would be hungry, and Nina would give him another one of her arms to eat. Jayden points at various illustrations of the octopus and the shark playing together, and the shark eating her arms. On Sunday, after playing all day, the Shark told Nina that he was very hungry. “I don’t understand,” she said. “I’ve already given you six of my arms, and now you want

one more?” The shark looked at her with a friendly smile and said, “I don’t want one. This time I want them all.” “But why?” Nina asked. And the shark replied, “Because that’s what friends are for.”

JAYDEN points to another drawing of the shark, alone.

When the shark finished his meal that night, he felt very sad and lonely. He missed having someone

to explore caves, build castles and swim really really fast with. He missed Nina very much. So, he swam

away to find another friend.

JAYDEN folds up the piece of paper and grips it in her hand. She stares down at her drawings, waiting.

Grace watches her for a moment before speaking.

GRACE

Jayden, did your dad ever hurt you?

Jayden doesn’t respond at first. But then shrugs without looking up. Grace watches her.

GRACE

Does he still hurt you?

Jayden doesn’t respond. She hides her face with her hand.

Grace sits with her for a moment before putting her arm on her back.

She sees tears plopping down onto the drawings of the octopus and the shark.

The two sit side by side.

 

***