A French film every film aficionado should see, if only to say you’ve seen it.
Release Date: 3 May 2002 (UK)
Director: Virginie Despentes
Cast: Raffaëla Anderson, Karen Lancaume, Céline Beugnot
Baise-Moi (directed by Virginie Despentes) is a French film every film aficionado should see, if only to say you’ve seen it. Starring Karen Lancaume and Raffaëla Anderson, the violent and sexual plot reveals deep themes about the relationship between men and women and the nihilistic ties that can grow in these relationships when things go wrong. Very few films can successfully have a mix of sex, violence, and nihilism and still give the audience a feeling of accomplishment and hope in the end, but this film does just that.
The film itself is based on a novel that is also titled “Baise-Moi” (literally “Kiss Me” in English) by the author Virginie Despentes. Everything rips apart in Manu’s life after she gets brutally raped and left to her own devices, and when another fateful woman named Nadine then witnesses a friend’s violent and brutal shooting murder, the two decide to hit to the road in escapades of violence, sexual deviation, and self-humiliation after they happen to meet each other and really click.
The real sex scenes in the movie are something that any discussion of this film simply cannot ignore. They have left countless audience members either shocked or mesmerized, depending on their tastes. One is hard-pressed to decide what the outcome of the sexual encounters is – was it the men who further humiliated these two women, or did the women truly exact their revenge in some perverse manner?
In either case, a second theme of the road-trip through the French landscapes and hillsides is a full revolt against modern society and its excesses. Fuelled by the rage and humiliation of what they had experienced in the past, Manu and Nadine are clearly taking out their revenge on a world that never once showed them any pity.
Stranger movies have been made, and despite its attempt at true nihilism, it is hard not to find meaning as the film progresses. Their attacks on everything that has hurt them in the past make the audience realize that these two women are not so much moral nihilists but disillusioned and frustrated idealists looking for a cause. At each sexual encounter, at each act of violence, there is an ideal slipping through their hands, and they see it and are all the more enraged at the fact. If you are looking for a thrill, some deviance, and a touch (or maybe a fistful) of sex, then find this film and watch it before your friends find out. This film was nominated for Grand Prix Asturias, Golden Leopard and Bronze Horse.