I watched a really great movie last night called La Mission.

The movie is about a father/son relationship and the community dynamics and complication of coming out of the closet. The son is gay and the father refuses to accept him, even going so far as to beat him up and rough up the boyfriend.

It’s not one of those typical “happy ending” hollywood movies, so I was not expecting to feel so effecting by this movie.

But towards the end, the father has a revelation about his behaviour and breaks down, and suddenly realizes that he has been in the wrong the entire time.

This made me incredibly sad. It implies that abusers can realize their own bad behaviour on their own, and change without intervention. That could be dangerous for someone being victimized to watch. On the other hand, seeing that revelation on screen touched me. It made me wish that just one of my abusers were capable of having this type of emotional evolution: where they realize that violence is got the answer.

While I was watching the movie, and watching this father break down, I thought to myself, I wonder, if this was real life, would those tears be genuine, or just another attempt to manipulate and control?

I couldn’t help but tear up myself, no matter my mind’s doubt at the ability for a domestic batterer for change. My heart cannot help but want to it to be true.

Do I think change is possible?

No. I really don’t. Something seems to be fundamentally wrong in the brains of abusers. While “normal” people can, and do, change themselves throughout their lives, abusers adapt. They adapt to better control their latest victim, or to seem empathetic, or to make themselves out to be victims themselves.

They are not capable of real feelings.

And if you are numb to your emotions, how can you genuinely change?

A highly recommended movie. One that left me thinking, and hoping that movie-world, things would have a happy ending after all.

  1. They are capable of feelings but only to a shallow extent and they are able to turn them on and off as it suits them in the dehumanization of others.

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