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Guns, Sex and Lingerie

Baise-Moi is not for the weak of heart

If you don't at least squirm in your seat while watching the French film Baise-moi (which literally means "Fuck Me" or, more exactly, "Rape Me"), then you are as dead inside as the protagonists. The movie comes with a disclaimer, which reads: "This film contains prolonged sex scenes of an explicit nature and scenes of graphic violence, which some viewers may find shocking and disturbing." Indeed, this film is extremely explicit and has been banned in France as well as Canada. There are people who do not want you to watch it.
Which is exactly why you should. Of course, if you're squeamish when it comes to hardcore sex and random violence, then you might want to stay at home. It is based on the novel of the same name, written by Virginie Despentes who co-directs the movie along with multi-faceted porn actress and director Coralie Trinh Thi, about two women living squalid existences who, after being victimized one too many times, take their and others' lives into their own hands. How do they do it? They take a road trip, screwing and killing their way across France. Although this is a first time directorial feat for Despentes, who worked herself as a prostitute, it succeeds in capturing the essence of the experiences of the characters in her novel. The film is shot with digital video, creating crisp, clean images that add to the rawness of the story. In addition, the powerful, energizing soundtrack composed by Varou Jan plays an essential role. Despentes writes, "In Baise-moi, the music is meant to echo the torrential feelings and emotions of both Manu and Nadine."

This is the tale of what can happen when women get really, really, really pissed off. Baise-Moi features two well-known French porn actresses, Karen Bach as Nadine and Raffaela Anderson as Manu. From their gritty, powerful performances, you realize that some porn stars can actually act beyond the moaning, groaning and inane dialogue that their day-jobs dictate. However, their professional experience comes in handy here; there is a lot of sex in this movie, very explicit sex in which nothing is hidden from the camera. If that is what you want, you’ll find it here--but it may not be what you had expected. The slapping of flesh in this movie isn't very erotic or even pleasantly stimulating. In fact, it'll make you want to close your legs and keep them shut.
One of the reasons Baise-moi has been banned is that it ruthlessly explores the relationship between sex, violence and power. As Manu states, "The more you fuck, the less you think, the better you sleep." And these girls are sleeping like babies. There is a particularly controversial gang rape scene, in which Manu and a friend are attacked by thugs, that you need to be prepared to witness; you are taken right into that room with them screaming and you feel the fierceness when she spits, "I leave nothing precious in my cunt for those guys." The directors make no apologies for telling a story in which two women take control over their lives and claim power for themselves. The men around them and the society in which Nadine and Manu meek out an existence are ruthless and abusive and they react to their environment in the most extreme way. There are no explanations or childhood trauma sob stories to back up these women's actions. The filmmakers won't give you an easy way out by offering a rationalization for why these women are doing what they are doing. Thus, you are left shocked and slightly traumatized, but somehow more aware because of it.



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Baise Moi
NC-17
1 hour 43 minutes

Karen Bach
Raffaela Anderson


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