The reality of the sexual revolution, as we now know, was often an abuse of power that left women reeling, not quite sure what happened or who was to blame. Confusion and humiliation was far too often the price you paid to be sexually liberated. In the context of the well documented abuse of young women by great directors from Alfred Hitchcock to Stanley Kubrick, we can see why Schneider’s plight was simply ignored, even though it devastated her.
When she spoke about it, nothing happened. Brando and Bertolucci are still considered untouchable artists.
But it can never be forgotten. Bertolucci sought to film the actual – not acted – pain of a 19-year-old woman. He did that. It was called art. It still is. He got away with it. This is truly disgusting. In his world, men act, women merely feel. “I wanted her reaction as a girl, not an actress,” said Bertolucci.
In the 1970s, consent was not a word or a concept I was aware of. But I fully understood violation when I saw it.
QotD: “Last Tango’s abuse reveals the broken promise of the 1970s sexual revolution”