Latif Zaman

Violation of Youth: Transcendence Through Destruction

Clark's films generally follow a male perspective, females existing mainly as foils for the males. In fact most of the major female characters in both Kids and Bully are raped. In Kids, Casper, to emulate the sexual mastery of Telly, rapes the peacefully sleeping Jenny, in a long, explicitly jarring scene. The defilement of Casper primarily intrigues Clark, however, the camera focusing on Casper's bewildered face the next morning as he asks "what happened?" Amidst all his drugs and debauchery, only the malicious violence of rape exiles Casper from innocence, from childhood. Looking back, Telly's pursuit of virgins can be seen as a subliminal compulsion to destroy innocence that is made even more profound by the fact that he is HIV positive.