In France, a child victim of sexual abuse still has to prove before the law that he did not consent. That’s the unbearable reality the French organization Face à l’Inceste (which act for child protection) is fighting. Through the eyes of a child, the 2min animated film, entitled Two Monsters in my story, raises the disturbing nature of the question of consent. It brings to the attention of the audience how the legal framework forces a victim to keep reliving their physical and psychological nightmare. And asks for a change of the law through a petition.
Cultural / Context information for the jury
In France today, a child victim incest still has to prove before the law that he did not consent. When the child reports an abuse, he still has to testify before a judge that he did say “NO” to his rapist who’s part of his family and with a strong authority on him. That’s the unbearable reality the French organization Face à l’Inceste (which act for child protection) is fighting.
Provide the full film script in English.
The animated film opens during the night in a bedroom of a child. At close-up, we discover a little boy lying in his bed with the sheet pulled up to his face as he looks around the room with his fearful eyes.
A voice-over (placing the boy as the narrator) begins:
There are two monsters in my story.
As the boy looks at the small wardrobe facing his bed, we see it moves a little as if someone is fidgeting inside. We dive through the keyhole to find ourselves in an indefinite darkness. We then see a figure of imposing stature from behind.
Voice: One, lives in my wardrobe. Tall and strong. All dressed in black.
The figure is dressed in a wide black outfit and carries a huge gavel in his hand. We see him banging his gavel in all directions (explaining why the wardrobe is moving), then knowing he is being watched, the figure stands up and freezes, looks over his shoulder towards us.
Back to the boy lying in bed, close-up on his face.
We can hear a small dog barking from another room in the house. The boy’s gaze turns towards the door of his room with fear. CUT
We are in the living room. We see the boy’s father sitting in an armchair in front of the television. The dog barks disturbingly as we see the father’s shadow separating from behind him. The shadow (silhouette of the father) puts his finger on his lips to quiet the dog before he starts to leave the sofa.
Voice: The other, with a familiar face, comes out of hiding as the night comes back.
We see this disturbing shadow sneak into the house. There is something very animal in the way he moves. Almost like a pest trying to be out of sight. The shadow moves up a corridor. The door of the child’s room opens and the shadow slides in. Voice: Creeping, crawling, shadow in the night. It’s when the whole house is asleep that he slips into my bed.
The child looks on helplessly, petrified as the sheets of his bed rise up as the shadow creeps in. We see the child forcing him- self to close his eyes, as if to make this monster disappear, and wake up from this nightmare.
Voice: If I close my eyes hard enough, maybe the first one opens its door and rushes ahead.
From the wardrobe door the first figure of imposing stature, dressed in black and holding his gavel, emerges. He makes the shadow escapes from under the sheets of the bed and flee. We see the imposing figure chasing the shadow inside the be- droom and then into the corridor, as the latter trying to escape the blows of gavel.
Voice: Jumping out, threateningly, he chases the crawler away relentlessly.
The shadow leaps out of the house through the front door. It runs into the garden to escape. A massive gavel falls on the garden in which the shadow runs and breaks the landscape. The landscape breaks up and the splinters create a maze and now the shadow seems to be completely lost in it.
Voice: The shadow, then, takes refuge so far away that it never returns.
In the house, different shots show us a small dog and the child’s teddy bears sleeping with closed eyes. We find our boy in his bed as we left him. With his eyes closed.
Voice: And the house sleeps. No more creeping sound...
We see our boy slowly open his eyes and look towards the war- drobe. The wardrobe door is closed.
Voice: But the wardrobe remains closed.
Through the bedroom door we observe the father’s figure quietly leaving the child’s room after his crime. CUT
The boy has gotten up and is now standing in front of the war- drobe door which he opens.
Voice: One night, gathering my courage, I open the door and ask how he can let this go.
Our little boy enters the wardrobe and shouts to the figure in- side:
“Hey, you in my wardrobe! Aren’t you going to defend me and get rid of my sorrow?”
The figure with the imposing stature and the gavel turns around and as he bends over towards the child who looks very small next to him, we can see his outfit in more detail: it is the black white-collar dress of a court judge.
Voice: Tall and strong, all dressed in black, his only words were: “Are you sure you did say NO?” (lip-sync) CUT
We observe the boy back in his room, painfully reaching his bed and pulling the sheet up to his face. In a close shot of his face reminiscent of the first frame of the film, the film ends with these last words heard in voice-over :
Voice: You see, I told you. There are two monsters in my story.
End screen with overprints:
In France, a child victim of sexual abuse still has to prove before the law that he did not consent.
Together, let’s act to change the law at facealinceste.fr