13 September 2003 | alliesmom97
Read the book if you don't get it
I have seen the movie and read the book "The Burning Bed". As is always the case, a two hour movie (actually an hour and a half at the most, when you allow for commercials) can't fit in every single detail. For those reviewers (mostly male, it appears) who don't "get it", who are hung up on the details of "why didn't the cops do this, why didn't Francine do that?", read the book and maybe you will be able to grasp the situation this woman lived in day in and day out.
As for the movie, I think it did what it was supposed to do. It was not a big budget Hollywood blockbuster, it was a made for TV movie. It told a story, a woman who was driven to do something desperate because she couldn't find help anywhere else.
In a perfect world men like Mickey Harper would not exist. But they do, and at the time that this took place (the 1970's) spousal abuse was, in the eyes of the law, no big deal. In fact, the book points out the only times Mickey was arrested was if he got physical with the cops. Otherwise he was basically told, "now behave yourself" and they would leave him to continue beating the daylights out of Francine as soon as they were gone. The attitude was "well, if you don't want him beating you up, just leave".
I don't know for sure what I think about what Francine did. Part of me can see how she couldn't see any other way out. Another part of me wonders if maybe she couldn't have done anything else. Not ever having been faced with her exact situation, I can't say what I would have done. But I don't believe she is some evil, vicious person.
And to the reviewer who said spousal abuse was less of a problem today because "women are seen as educable" and families have fewer children...I can see WHY you have an EX-wife. For the record, spousal abuse occurs in ALL types and sizes of families--and Mickey Harper beat his wife up all during their marriage--it wasn't having four children (I think the movie might have only shown three--it's been a while since I saw it--but they had four) that cause it.