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Baise-Moi (2000)

Rape Me (US), Baise-moi (AU), Fuck Me (Intl: English title), Kiss Me (Intl: English title)

When victims of violence have nothing to lose, anything can happen

Starring:

Karen Bach

Raffaëla Anderson

Directed by:

Virginie Despentes & Coralie Trinh Thi

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 73 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: France

Manu (Raffaela Anderson) and Nadine (Karen Bach) are both young women who live in a rough and violent world. Manu is a drug abuser and alcoholic who is violently raped and then kills her brother during the aftermath. Nadine is a prostitute who witnesses the shooting of her only friend, a drug addict, and follows that with the murder of her landlady with whom she has a disagreement. The two meet in a chance encounter at the railway station while both are trying to leave the area, but the trains have already stopped for the night. One has access to a car and the other can drive, so they team up to make their escape. Not really running away, and not really having anything to run to, they are just running but cannot escape who they are.

On the road, the two embark on what becomes an orgy of sex, drugs and murder. It starts with the need for money, and they kill a woman at a cash machine for her cash card. However, it is not long until they descend into murder for its own sake, and they start killing many of the people with whom they come into contact. As the police start to hunt them down, they know it will all come to an end, but when that end comes it still catches them by surprise.

This is a French film with English subtitles, which was made independently on video with a low budget and the most basic of cinematic tools. It was one of the first films that included this graphic a level of sex to be passed by the UK censors. Be warned: the language and violence are extreme, and the sex is hardcore and real rather than simulated. Baise-Moi shot to international attention after it was banned in liberal France (!) where it was considered pornographic. While much of the plot content has been covered in other films, often better, the film does have a grittiness and atmosphere that suits it well. The film does seem to go from one set piece to the next – the girls have sex, they kill, and then they do it again – when it might have been better to spend more time developing the characters and their motivations.

Based on the bestselling French novel by Virginie Despentes.

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It's Got: Lots of atmosphere and a few outstanding moments.

It Needs: To consider whether all the explicit sex was necessary to the telling of the story.

DVD Extras The documentaries give a particularly interesting insight into controversy the film created in France and the filmmakers’ responses. Extras: Making of, Q & A session, Trailers DVD Extras Rating: 6/10

Alternatives:

Clockwork Orange, La Haine, Les Amants Criminels, Natural Born Killers

Summary

This is a shocking, explicit and violent but decent thriller considering its humble origins, recommended for those adults with the stomach for it. It’s not for those who don’t want to see the real sex act on screen.

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