Bastard Out of Carolina is a 1996 film made by Showtime Networks, directed by Anjelica Huston. It is based on a novel by Dorothy Allison and adapted for the screen by Anne Meredith. Jena Malone stars as a poor, physically abused and sexually molested girl.
It won the Emmy Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries or a Special (Linda Lowy) and was nominated Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries or a Special (Anjelica Huston), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special (Glenne Headly), and Outstanding Made for Television Movie (Amanda DiGiulio, Gary Hoffman).
Frustrated by the loss of his eagerly-anticipated son, Anney's inability to have more children, and his own inability to manage his temper and maintain steady employment, Glen begins to physically and sexually abuse Bone. Anney is saddened by her new husband's behavior towards her child, but does not leave him.
One day, Bone's aunt discovers lashes on her legs and alerts the girl's uncles, who beat Glen unconscious. Bone goes to live with her aunts, and eventually tells her mother that she is allowed to love Glen, but that Bone will never come home to him again. Eventually, Glen comes around while the aunts are out, telling Bone that Anney refuses to come home without her, and trying to force her to come back. When she fights him, he punches her and then rapes her. Anney discovers them and breaks a bottle over Glen's head, but returns to him anyway.
In the end, Bone is allowed to stay with her kind Aunt Raylene and Uncle Earle, far away from the reach of those who would harm her. Her mother visits one final time to deliver to her the copy of her birth certificate without the mark of "ILLEGITIMATE" that had plagued Bone her whole life.
Her mother kisses her forehead, like she used to, and tells her that she will always love her, before driving away to rejoin Glenn. Bone remains with her Aunt, and with this final, tearful goodbye, she cries for her mother's sacrifice and for the freedom she has at last managed to achieve.
Her final words are voiced in the narration by Laura Dern.
"Who had Momma been? What'd she wanted to be, or do before I was born? Once I was born, her hopes turned, and I climbed up her life like a flower reaching for the sun. Her life had folded into mine. Who would I be when I was fifteen, twenty, thirty? Would I be as strong as she had been? As hungry for love? As desperate, determined and ashamed? I wouldn't know, that I was already who I was gonna be. Someone like her, like my Momma. A Boatwright. A bastard. A bastard outta Carolina."
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