Gaslight (1940) – Directed by George Cukor and Thorold Dickinson, starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. Most domestic violence movies seem to focus on physical violence, this may be because when most people think of domestic violence physical violence is what comes to mind. Or it may be because physical violence is so striking on the big screen. Even for victims who experience physical violence, emotional, and psychological abuse are present and often harder to heal. This movie is the origin of the term “gas-lighting” used to describe the experience when a victim is made to feel as if they are going crazy by their abuser. It tells the story of a young wife whose seemingly devoted husband is manipulating her so that he can get his hands on her money. This classic movie is a wonderful portrayal of the types of mind games that can be used without any threat of physical violence to victimize the vulnerable. If you are a survivor you may recognize some of the techniques from your own experience. It is a great classic film worth viewing.
August 10th, 2011
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