Parents need to be aware that the latest Twilight film, Breaking Dawn – Part 1, which opens in theaters tonight, makes violent sex seem romantic, abortion appear reasonable and childbirth look horrifying.
LifeSiteNews.com is reporting that the latest episode in the popular vampire series barely managed to receive a PG-13 rating because of its adult themes and partial nudity, but the film’s director reassures that “nothing was left out” of the two most anticipated scenes – the honeymoon and the birth of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward’s (Robert Pattinson) first child.
“More than anything, I wanted to make sure that the intensity of two specific things — the first time they make love during their honeymoon and the birth scene — wasn’t watered down,” said director Bill Condon to the Herald.
“Twilight has always had the potential to be a horror movie, but it hasn’t quite embraced it until we get to this story,” he added. “I hope it doesn’t upset the girls too much. We’ll see.”
The first love scene between the two is quite violent with Edward seen breaking the headboard and tearing open pillows. Bella wakes up the next morning sporting bruises all over her body.
Even more disturbing is the film’s handling of Bella’s pregnancy. Because her child is half-vampire and half-human, it is supposedly “incompatible” with her body, but she refuses to have an abortion. Edward, on the other hand, wants her to have the abortion, an option that appears more and more reasonable as her difficult pregnancy continues.
Dr. Christine Schintgen, assistant professor of literature at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, says the portrayal of Bella’s pregnancy plays into all of the pro-abortion arguments that pit the child against the mother.
“It creates the image of a fetus as monster,” said Schintgen. “In this case, it’s literally true. The fetus is portrayed as this freakish, monstrous life form.”
She also finds the storyline lending credence to claims by abortion advocates that pregnancy is dangerous and carries a real risk of maternal death if abortion is not available.
This is especially true because Bella does indeed die during a childbirth that is depicted as downright horrifying. Her labor is so violent that it breaks her spine and Edward is forced to deliver the baby by tearing open her stomach with his fangs. Bella dies during the ordeal and is brought back to “life” by Edward who finally bites her and makes her a vampire.
Schintgen says the story’s terrible depiction of the child’s birth sends a “troubling” message to youth about childbirth by “twisting it into something unnatural.”
“For young women who are in a position of being pregnant, this scene would create negative associations in their mind surrounding birth,” she said.
And because Bella would have died had she not become a vampire, the story could make it seem that death would have been the normal result of her refusing the abortion.
“It kind of resonates with that sense of the annihilation of the woman,” said Schintgen, “the idea that if we give value to the baby, we are necessarily at the same time devaluing the woman.”
Twilight fans like to say that Bella and Edward are giving a positive message to teens because they wait until marriage to have sex, but Dr. Schintgen says this is not at all true. First, because Edward and Bella have an unhealthy obsession with sex throughout the movies and, second, because the sex they finally do have is completely divorced from the concept of having children.
“They both assume going into the marriage that they are not able to have children, nor would they want any if they could,” she explained. Their union is “divorced from any sense of the purpose of marriage, which should be unitive but also open to bringing new life into the world.”
Schintgen is raising concerns about the Twilight saga because “people might be taken in by the partially good message in it, the half-truths that are presented by a superficial exposure to the film,” she told LifeSite.
“On the surface there is a pro-life message, but that’s often how we can be fooled,” she explained. “If there’s an element of good, we kind of take the whole package. And I think the whole package is very problematic to say the least.”
“If you confuse young people on these fundamental issues, which is what a morally muddled treatment of the issues will do, then you’re really setting them up for a fall,” she warned.
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