Raw, 2016 – ★★★★

So much metaphor in this very unusual film about cannibalism…or is it vampirism? Leads Garance Marillier and Ella Rumph are both pitch perfect, playing this wildly off kilter film deadly serious. What I thought was going to be an example of French Extremism turned out to simply show how fearless and matter-of-fact French filmmaking is, not batting an eye at making its audience uncomfortable, or showing its performers nude, or not looking good, or doing bad things. It’s also striking how different the sympathetic eye and ear of filmmaker Julia Ducournow is from what one could imagine from a male writer/director who wouldn’t invest nearly as much nuance into this story. It’s simultaneously about a growing desire for human blood, and personal growth, being misunderstood, trying to fit in, peer pressure, sins of the parents, sexual awakening, and much more. Well worth a watch.

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