Mother’s Red Dress
A film that addresses a current issue is Mother’s Red Dress. In the film’s scene set in Northern California, a mother, Laura, kills her abusive lover in cold blood and in full glare of her son, Paul. Too much affected by the act that he witnesses, Paul, escapes from home to start life afresh and he ends up in Southern California. There, he meets Ashley and Brenda, two young women. Brenda is unsuccessful in vying for Paul’s attention. However, Paul is attracted to Ashley, who first hesitates but eventually both fall in love. However, things take a complete turn when Paul gets his mother’s call stating that she has been diagnosed with cancer; and that she wants to get together him and his father who had left them a decade ago, though, it is a way of luring him to come back home (Edgar, 2011). However, when he gets home, his mother’s many dark secrets leave him psychologically traumatized. The film gets its title from the fire-red dress on which Laura is clad; and the redness of the dress portrays sin, anger and eventually murder which leads to the spill of blood and later guiltiness.
The social issue being addressed by the film is domestic abuse. The film Mother’s Red Dress depicts the social issues— murder and domestic abuse— in vivid terms. When Laura and her son, Paul, are deserted by their father, she gets a new boyfriend who then starts being abusive on her (domestic abuse). Having chafed for a long term under the boyfriend, she plots his murder and kills finally kills him on a beach (murder). Paul becomes a witness to the murder. When Laura is diagnosed with cancer, she lures Paul to come back under the pretense that she is reuniting him with his father. However, on coming back, Paul discovers many serious crimes that his mother had done and concealed (crimes).
One of the sociological paradigms is conflict. In the film Mother’s Red Dress, and in relation to paradigm, the issue is addressed as follows. Domestic conflict between parters is not a new social issue in marital affairs (William, 2009). Even though it is not in all marriages, domestic conflict is portrayed in many marriages when a spouse or spouses want to dominate their partners. Domestic conflict transcends racial, age, religion, sexual orientation, and gender borders. While in some cases men also undergo domestic violence, it is mostly women who bear the blunt of the societal issue (Heather & John, 2002). Domestic conflict can also affect anyone regardless of his or her level of education. While domestic conflicts can range touch on emotional, psychological, sexual and physical subjects some do go to the extent where a spouse is killed; though in most cases the aim is to instill fear, manipulation, intimidation, hurting or to humiliate.
In the storyline of the film, conflict is represented in the following manner: through the murder of the abusive boyfriend. The murder on the beach, is triggered by the boyfriend’s abusiveness which compels Laura to kill him in cold blood. For Laura to contemplate on killing her boyfriend, it paints a stark picture of how far to the edge that her boyfriend had driven her before she could whip about a gun and kill him ruthlessly. Also, the brutality of the boyfriend is reflected in the way on which after tricking Paul to come back home, Paul sees her as not feeling remorseful for her deeds.
Bravo, E. M. (Director). (2011). Mother’s Red Dress. [Motion Picture]. USA. No Restriction Entertainment.
Russell, W. B. (2009). Teaching Social Issues With Film. Charlotte, NC: IAP.
Strang, H. & Braithwaite, J. (2002). Restorative Justice and Family Violence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.