Angelina Jolie has confirmed that a controversial scene in her recent movie "Maleficent" serves as an analogy for rape.
During an interview with BBC Radio's Women's Hour on June 10, Jolie answered a question about a climactic scene in the film that has been interpreted by some as a metaphor for sexual assault. In the scene, title character Maleficent is drugged by a man she's in love with, who then removes her wings and robs her of the ability to fly.
"We were very conscious, the writer and I, that [the scene in question] was a metaphor for rape," Jolie said. "The core of ["Maleficent"] is abuse, and how the abused have a choice of abusing others or overcoming and remaining loving, open people."
In the film, a retelling of "Sleeping Beauty," Maleficent takes revenge against her former lover's daughter, Aurora, by cursing her as an infant. Jolie told BBC Radio 4 that the original betrayal and assault were what catalyzed Maleficent's vengeful behavior, marking her change from a benevolent fairy into a villainous character: "The question was asked, 'What could make a woman become so dark? To lose all sense of her maternity, her womanhood, and her softness?'"
The film's writer, Linda Woolverton, explained to The Hollywood Reporter that the scene is critical in making Maleficent's actions understandable to the audience.
"The biggest challenge [making the film] was how to make a villain into a protagonist," Woolverton told Aaron Couch on June 2. "How on earth was I going to justify that this woman would curse a baby?"
[h/t US Weekly]