Seductive Child (1960)

26 Jan
Director  Unknown
Producer  Unknown
Contributors  Unknown
Length  11 Minutes
B&W/Color  B&W
UO Library Catalog description:  Scenes of a young boy interacting with a young man; used to sensitize counselors to adult aberrant behavior.
Call # FILM Ma219
Genre  Experimental, Instructional
Rare  Yes
Online  No
Copyright status  Public Domain
Physical condition  Good
Oregon-related  No

Notes:

Seductive Child is a true orphan film. There is very little info available on the movie so the conclusions drawn about it are purely speculative in relation to attitudes towards pedophilia during the 1960’s. It features a group of children enamored with a James Dean-esque character riding a motorcycle. They follow as he drives down a road, calling after him and expressing their admiration. One child approaches the young man in a playful manner, asking to sit on the motorcycle. The man obliges and the child happily revs the engine. The man then gets off the motorcycle and proceeds to stand by a tree before beginning to touch himself as the child bounces up and down on the seat. The machine tips over, trapping the child underneath. The man comes over and picks it up off of him, but is pulled to the ground in the process. He grapples with the boy and they flip over back and forth on each other until the child plunges his thumbs into his eyes. The man gets up rubbing his eyes and the boy runs away. The other group of children convene and begin to throw rocks at the man as he drives away.

It’s interesting seeing who is the victim and the predator here. There is a certain amount of ambiguity presented in the film as to who is who. On the one hand the young motorcyclist does attempt to force himself on the child, but the boy himself is shown in a way that portrays him as the seducer. The character of the motorcyclist also sits in stark contrast to the “dirty old man” persona of pedophiles today. He is definitely not the type of person you would expect to be a child molester. This falls in line with the general attitude of pedophiles during the 60’s, which had a much different focus, centered on the unassuming young man or even family members. Children were also not always trusted in court during these times and skepticism over claims of molestation was prevalent due to a Freudian understanding of children’s sexuality, which framed child sexuality as by its very nature innocent, but always present and a potential liability for adults (source: http://www.faqs.org/childhood/Pa-Re/Pedophilia.html).

Below is a selection of stills from the film.

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