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#291262 - 06/11/09 09:52 PM Boys of St Vincent
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
Colleagues of mine in another state who work with offenders were asking whether this film might be good to help sensitize abusers and were concerned whether it might get graphic (nudity, etc) that might trigger those who are attracted to boys.

The idea is to help them become more empathetic.


Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#291266 - 06/11/09 10:03 PM Re: Boys of St Vincent [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK
I think i watched that one. Not the documentary, the film right? yeah, i think i saw that on true movies when i had that channel. I don't think it will help offenders. In the film in the interviews at the police station with the boys many of the children were clueless to what really happened to them, confused and harmed, but clueless (a testament to their innoccence). The offenders may actually take that as a sign that it is ok to do that to young boys- they may put it in their bag of lies to tell themselves that actually it is ok. Also there are scenes which are graphic, like when the priest kisses the boy passionately (although at a camera trick angle)- offenders like that kind of stuff. I think the film is inappropriate for offenders- they would probably get off on it. Just my opinion.


#291267 - 06/11/09 10:09 PM Re: Boys of St Vincent [Re: king tut]
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK
I don't think that film is particularly good ot make them more empathetic.

I would suggest

"song for a raggy boy"

If they don't become more emapthetic after watching that than they are already dead. There is child sexual abuse and violence and punishment in that film. There is also a good guy character in that- and if they cant relate to him better than the bad guys then they are already dead. Also the children empower themselves, and so the offenders can see clearly that children are real people too.

#291301 - 06/12/09 04:46 AM Re: Boys of St Vincent [Re: king tut]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
I pretty much agree with Lewis' conclusions.

Boys of St Vincent is kind of an emasculated film in my opinion. It does have one brief scene where the priest is swimming with the boy. The boy gets abused and the whole thing is "remembered" in a later court trial. That scene might be triggering to some. The priest is successfully prosecuted if I remember correctly.

I'm not sure there is a really good feature-length film to accomplish what you are trying to do.

There are a bunch of documentary films showing the problems of boys having been abused. Do you want the names of these?

The following are full-length movies.

Sleepers may come the closest to what you are looking for.

I'm not sure whether Mysterious Skin would be good or not.

Joe the King shows a child triumphing over adversity after a kidnap event.

Lord of the Flies shows boyhood moral frailty

Oliver Twist presents the frailty of boys and the eventual triumph of justice. Polanski version I liked best.

El Bola is an effective statement against physical and emotional abuse. It is a spanish film with English subtitles.

There is a movie called Kite Runner. It is a very effective film. It is Iranian with English subtitles. It shows the evils of CSA and other types of selfishness.

There are some effective films that stress the effects of kindness: The Chorus. would meet some of your goals. Sexual abuse is one of the topics there, though not a major theme.

There are several other films which have had a healing effect on me. I have watched them a bunch of times. They worked for me because I projected myself into the film and then the boy character emerged triumphant. They are:

Empire of the Sun. A great film by Steven Spielberg

Stand by Me. Another Spielberg film depicting lives of 13-year-olds.

I Am David. A boy successfully escapes from a labor camp and finds his way home after much adversity.

Flight of the Innocent. An Italian film with English subtitles. It shows a boy who narrowly escapes being killed and then traverses tremendous adversity to finally find a loving home.

I'm Not Scared. An Italian film showing how the kindness of one boy saved the life of another kidnapped boy.

Where Eskimos Live. A boy escapes the devastation of a war zone and after a lot of adversity finally finds a happy home.

Blank Check also had a healing effect. It suffers from Hollywood and Disney glitz but here again a boy emerges triumphant from a difficult situation.

Another one which really helped me: Father and Scout. This film features Brian Bonsall as the scout. I watched this one a bunch. Because I projected myself into the role of the scout, it reconstructed some inner wounds for me. Some of the adults in it you have to try to ignore.

I notice Song for a Raggy Boy has been discontinued in production. Maybe it was a bit too effective.


Edited by pufferfish (06/12/09 03:23 PM)
Edit Reason: added Father and Scout

#291303 - 06/12/09 07:53 AM Re: Boys of St Vincent [Re: pufferfish]
Timmy Offline

Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 2
thank you pufferfish for the names of those movies!

#291304 - 06/12/09 08:56 AM Blank [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
steveb121 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/02/01
Posts: 157
Loc: Swindon, UK

#291338 - 06/12/09 06:14 PM Re: Boys of St Vincent [Re: steveb121]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

I wouldn't recommend this film for the purpose you mention. There are too many opportunities for abusers to dodge responsibility by saying, "Well, that's not me at all."

One film that might work is Eban and Charlie, but the discussion would have to be directed by a really good discussion leader. The film leaves a lot of questions open and doesn't demonize Eban, the 20-something abuser of 15-year-old Charlie. But it doesn't take much to see by the end that Eban is going to end up in even deeper trouble than he was in before he pursued, groomed and abused Charlie. There's one sex scene (not nude) and a brief shot of them both in a bathtub.

I think my entry on this film for the book I am working on is here in the archive for this forum somewhere.

There are other possibilities, but I would have to look at my files (not with me here in the US) to refresh my memory.

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#291361 - 06/12/09 11:51 PM Re: Boys of St Vincent [Re: Timmy]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Timmy
thank you pufferfish for the names of those movies!

These movies are good films on their own. Some of them have received awards.

For me, these movies were also beneficial to me in treating my "depersonalization disorder". My principal symptom as a grown man was to feel strongly 12-years-old.

As a result of abuse at a young age (starting at almost 4) and then horrific abuse at age 12 involving torture, sexual abuse, sexual torture and brain washing, I kind of lost track of "who I was". I was forced to perform sex on other boys. I had watched what I believed to be the murder of another boy. Yes I knew my name, and where I lived, etc., but I was left after that abuse with extremely negative ideas of who I was and of what it meant for me to be a boy in general.

As I said, I had very negative ideas of what it meant to be a boy. I watched the films with full discussion with my T, who said that I had the depersonalization disorder and DIDNOS (dissociative identity disorder - not otherwise specified). I had to somehow relive boyhood without being able to actually go back and do it over again. Watching these films was the next best alternative.

I had earlier seen one T who specialized in DID for about a year. Later I had therapists who specialized in more day-to-day therapy. I also received weekly talk therapy with a qualified T for a number of years (still ongoing). I also received about 30+ sessions of EMDR.

"All the kings horses, and all the kings men, to put humpty dumpty together again."


pufferfish whistle

#291476 - 06/14/09 12:54 AM Re: Boys of St Vincent [Re: pufferfish]
1islandboy Offline

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 906
Loc: washington

I've never watched that movie...

But I have watched, "Things behind the sun" which is a movie directed by a female survivor about a female survivor.

I can only remember one female nude scene (possibly another quick few glimpses) I'm thinking it would help to not trigger those attracted to boys and still get the point acrossed.

ie..The ramifications of damage done...leading toward empathy (sorry words don't serve sometimes).

Evil Grows (The Poppy Family)


p.s. I was wondering if anyone has watched this movie or am I solo on this one. (no one responded to my previous post).

Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

#292030 - 06/17/09 09:27 AM Re: Boys of St Vincent [Re: 1islandboy]
Trucker51 Offline

Registered: 05/21/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I think that Sleepers would be a great movie for your purpose, and I was also taken by Mystic River too. Some parts of Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange might be a good view, though other parts I wouldn't recommend. There have been other movies that I only remember parts of so I will have to jog my brain some and hope to remember their names.


"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark

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