Suggested books and movies

Despite its prevalence in our society, sexual violence is difficult to talk about - with family, co-workers, fellow worshippers, even your closest friends. People have many different feelings about and reactions to the issue of sexual violence. They may have preconceived ideas about its causes and how to prevent it. They may even have experienced sexual violence themselves. A simple way to start a conversation can be to read a book or see a movie together. BARCC has prepared some questions for a few books and movies to help guide these conversations. Buy these books/films from Amazon and support BARCC at the same time.

  • seboldThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: This story is told from the perspective of fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon, as she looks down at her family from heaven following her rape and murder. While Susie and readers see the tremendous grief and longing that her family, and she, experiences, we also see a story about love, healing, and hope. Read discussion questions.
  • angelouI Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou: This book is an autobiographical work that focuses on the early years of Maya Angelou's life. Angelou is a poet and her flowing style adds to the pleasure of reading her work. Read discussion questions.
  • mulvaneysWe Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates: This is the story of a small-town, close-knit family. The Mulvaneys and their four children lead a lovely life on their rambling farm outside a small town in upstate New York, until Valentine's Day, 1976, when their daughter Marianne is raped. The novel explores the impact of the rape on each member of the family, exposing how quickly and completely an assault can change a family's life. Read discussion questions.
  • speakSpeak, directed by Jessica Sharzer: In this film a traumatized teenage girl begins high school after being sexually assaulted by a peer at a party the summer before. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she tells the dark tale of her experiences, and why she has chosen not to speak. This film is rated PG-13 and there is a brief graphic depiction of the rape in the middle of the film. Read discussion questions.
  • 40days40 Days and 40 Nights, directed by Michael Lehmann: After a brutal breakup, Matt vows to stay celibate during the forty days of Lent. During this time, he finds the girl of his dreams and struggles to build a relationship with her, until a surprising twist at the end of the 40 days. This film is rated R. Read discussion questions.

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