There’s the right way, the wrong way, and the Army way.
Horrifying. Sickening. The General’s Daughter is all that and more. This may be a John Travolta flick, (read, normally lighthearted and slightly goofy) but this movie is gut-wrenching. We listen to reports of the treatment women face in the military every day. But this movie is a devastating example of exactly how brutal, how disgusting, the treatment of women by their military peers truly can be.
Warr. Off. Paul Brenner (played by Travolta) meets Captain Campbell one night when he has a flat tire and she stops to loan him a tire iron. She is gorgeous, brilliant, and works for Psy Ops. The next time he sees her, she is staked out on the ground, naked, brutalized, raped and murdered.
But this isn’t the first time horror has struck Captain Campbell.
Seven years ago, the General’s Daughter, Captain Elizabeth Campbell, was on a huge night-time field op. A field op where Elizabeth was taken down, stripped, staked out on the ground, and raped nearly to death. Found barely alive the next day, she is treated for STDs, pregnancy, and a body nearly crushed from the beatings and rapes she suffered at the hands of a gang of those she should have felt safe with – her own colleagues.
The Army’s response?
“Better one unreported and one unvindicated rape than to shake the foundations of West Point.”
Yeah. That. We now know that these things happen, and they still happen, whether we know it or not. These male soldiers, the ones who claim to fight to protect us all, including women, are the very ones who commit atrocities of the most horrific kind. And feel justified in doing so.
If you haven’t seen the movie, it is on Amazon Prime.
I highly recommend it. It has good reviews and bad. As one reviewer put it in her 2002 review:
When you see such a polarisation of opinions on a book or a film, you actually see a good work because it is making people think. This movie does that and yes, provokes violent extremes in how people perceive it.
The plot point between Travolta and Madeliene Stowe (Warr. Off. Sara Sunhill) is forced and unnecessary, it drags down the overall serious flow of the movie, but at the time I suppose they thought Travolta needed a romantic aspect. Meh. It was poorly done. Clarence Williams III (yes, THAT CWIII) as the General’s aide is one cold bastard, and the amazing James Cromwell is an even colder, harder, self-aggrandizing General. A terrible, terrible horrible person. “Close your eyes. It never happened. It never, ever happened.”
As if a woman can ever forget.