Manu has lived a difficult life. Abused and violently raped, she sets off to find herself only to meet Nadine, a prostitute who has encountered one too many injustices in the world. Angry at the world, they embark on a twisted, rage-filled road trip. They choose to have sex when they please and kill when they need. Leaving a trail of mischief and dead bodies in their wake. Generating a media blitz and manhunt, soon everyone is out to capture the young fugitives.
|Release Date||:||June 28, 2000|
|Genres||:||Crime, Drama, Romance, Thriller|
|Production Company||:||Toute Premiere Fois, Canal+, Take One Productions, Pan Européenne Productions|
|Director||:||Virginie Despentes, Coralie|
|Writers||:||Coralie, Virginie Despentes, Virginie Despentes|
|Casts||:||Karen Lancaume, Raffaëla Anderson, Ouassini Embarek, Adama Niane, Marc Barrow, Patrick Eudeline, Ian Scott, Zenza Raggi, Jean-Louis Costes, Titof, Delphine McCarty, Patrick Kodjo Topou, Élodie Chérie, Marc Rioufol, Hervé P. Gustave, Jean-Marc Minéo, Gábor Rassov, Rodolphe Antrim, Nataly Dune, Sebastian Barrio, Pascal St. James|
|Plot Keywords||:||france, rape, women's sexual identity, revenge, murder, independent film, unsimulated sex, crime, violence, explicit sex, woman director, new french extremism|
I first saw a poster advertising this film on a street in Helsinki, Finland in June of 2000. What caught my attention was the proud proclamation advising all readers that the movie, although itself French, had been "Banned in France". Upon returning home to New York, I discovered that one of the "Art House" movie theaters in the City was screening the film, and so (with my Finnish fiancee) decided to see what all the fuss was about. Boy, did we ever.
From the comments read here, and the reviews I knew the movie was violent and sexually explicit. Not necessarily offended by either of these two conditions, I went with an open mind to see what had perturbed the sensibilities of our Gallic cousins. Presumably, as anyone who is reading this will know, the story involves two women who embark on a crime and murder spree in France (the movie has English subtitles). The resemblance to "Thelma and Louise" however, ends with that; the sex is unusually graphic (and in copious supply) as is the violence (a lot of stomping to death, and a lot of blood and other organic matter splattering after bullet impact).
On an intellectual level, one could make the case that the film's very essence is the relationship of sex and violence (as manifested by the only sex these women know: one is a small-time prostitute, and the other has earned money from time to time by performing in pornographic films. When they, during their descent into crime and murder, have the upper hand over their sexual situations, they react only with the same violence and brutality that they themselves know and understand. It is important to note, however, that the victims of their rampage are not only creepy men interested in creepy sex, (of which there are several)but innocent passersby, a woman at an ATM, for example, as well.
I myself do not really understand why the repeated "porn-movie" shots were all that necessary, (except to depict the physical contact as cruel, unpassionate and debased) and the unrelenting gore did get rather tedious after the first few violent spasms.
It is a coarse and crude movie, but in fairness, it is dealing with coarse and crude people and equally unpleasant circumstances. From one point of view, the lives of the French underclasses is explored, and it's pretty grim; a travelogue for France it definitely is not- perhaps that's why the French banned it.