London, September 24 : American theatre chain AMC has stopped showing Dakota Fanning's new movie 'Hounddog' in its 5,117 cinema halls, following pressure from family values groups that are angry at a rape scene.
The controversial Deborah Kampmeier film contains a scene wherein Fanning's character, a nine-year-old girl, is raped.
It was to hit movie screens late last year, but protests from family organisations led to legal investigations and the stalling of the movie's release.
"I feel a lot of compassion towards these people that are so angry about the film. Rape is a really tough subject and the film deals with issues that are really painful to look at and I think that a lot of people don't have the support in their life to look at their own lives; to look at their own pain," the Daily Express quoted director Kampmeier as having told WENN, while promoting the film last week.
"Instead they're facing their pain and projecting their anger and their fear onto my film. A lot of agendas are being projected off this film that have nothing to do with the film and they're being projected onto it by people who haven't actually seen the film. It's too bad.
"I didn't make the film to make a controversial film or a social commentary. I made the film for my heart and if it touches someone else's heart that's what it's about for me," the director said.
Officials at U.S. women's organisation NOW are also urging people to see the film.
Hollywood NOW President Lindsey Horvath says: "Hounddog is a film that calls you to action. It returns innocence to the adolescent discovery of sexuality, and restores hope for those whose innocence has been taken.
Horvath adds: "It's a brilliantly poignant film that clearly depicts how free expression of female sexuality remains unacceptable in today's world, and what survivors of sexual violence must do to reclaim their bodies and selves from their perpetrators. We need more women in Hollywood like Kampmeier to uncover society's oppression of women."
The film went on limited release in America on September 19.