Loving the Bad Man is the new film from Stephen Baldwin’s Xtreme Media Company about a young woman who is raped, becomes pregnant as a result and decides to keep the baby.She then confronts her attacker, now behind bars, and forgives him so he can find peace with God. Yes, this is a tearfest.
I don’t have a problem with the difficult subject matter as I think forgiveness is not just a topic for Christians but any one who is human. You have to decide if it is worth hating someone for doing something horrible to you or to someone you love… or can you simply forgive and move on with your life. I can’t really judge someone who decides not to forgive an attacker as I’m not sure how I would react if someone raped my wife. While I may be able to cope, I’m not sure I feel it is necessary to forgive the perpetrator of the crime. I think someone who is dangerous enough to commit rape or murder should be locked up (as opposed to all the people who took a puff of marijuana or sold it) and then forgotten.
Certainly, when it comes to people who commit crimes there are several factors and I’m not a black and white issue guy. A person could be a criminal because of childhood abuse or neglect and I could see the benefit to using taxpayer money to rehabilitate them. In a way, that is the forgiveness of society. On the other hand, I see serial killers as unredeemable because there is something wrong with their brains–a defect that cannot be fixed (unless we discover a cure in the future).
I hesitate to say anything bad about this film just yet, but it feels manipulative after reading the premise and watching the trailer, and the pro-life stance is obvious. The main character keeps her baby as a result of a rape, which is her choice, but are Christians like Baldwin allowing for women to have choice or are they for laws that would ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest? The current rash of Tea Party extremists have suggested the old battle to control women’s bodies is back. It may very well be that Loving the Bad Man is a genuine piece of art, but I suspect it borders on propaganda. I don’t mind watching propaganda as long as it is done well–hell, I realize a lot of my art is completely biased, but with character driven vehicles sometimes bias can destroy a potentially good film because situations of rape and murder don’t follow a direct course with an easy to relay message. Dead Man Walking is a good example of a movie with a bias against the death penalty, but even if you were for the death penalty the film was incredibly absorbing.
BTW: From what I can see in the trailer, Baldwin doesn’t actually star in the film. It features Christine Kelly as the rape victim and Arturo Fernandez as the rapist.