No one listened to the victim from “Last Tango in Paris”
It was recently revealed that Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci orchestrated the rape scene in his film Last Tango in Paris to be an actual rape scene, with no consent from the actress who played the victim.
However, the victim spoke about it 10 years ago and no one cared. No one would believe that such as esteemed director would do such a thing. Well, he did do it, according to himself.
Last Tango in Paris was controversial at the time of release in 1972, and even received an X-rating for its depiction of rape. At the time, no one would have guessed that Bertolucci would go as far as he did: he told Marlon Brando to actually rape his co-star, Maria Schneider, who was just 19 at the time. Brando was 48.
We’ve seen this time and again: directors trying to go for “extreme realism” when it comes to sexual abuse and/or rape, and often seem to try to outdo each other, see who can make the dirtiest, most realistic rape scene.
Bertolucci went too far, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are other filmmakers out there who took their “art” too far for the sake of “realism”.
And while Hollywood seems to be in uproar today, with celebrities Tweeting their disgust at the situation, no one really paid attention when the victim came out almost 10 years ago and spoke about the scene.
Back in 2007, Schneider said in an interview that she was traumatized by the scene, but no one seemed to care. Here’s how she described her experience:
“Marlon said to me: ‘Maria, don’t worry, it’s just a movie,’ but during the scene, even though what Marlon was doing wasn’t real, I was crying real tears.
“I felt humiliated and to be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci. After the scene, Marlon didn’t console me or apologise. Thankfully, there was just one take.”
And if you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did: Brando told Schneider that she “looked like his daughter” at the time. Again, Brando was 48, Schneider was just 19.
What’s more shocking is that Hollywood considered this “art”. Both Brando and Bertolucci were nominated for Oscars for the film.