Baise-moi

Baise-moi

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It would be impossible to discuss Baise-moi without mentioning Abel Ferrara. Baise-moi is the kind of film that Ferrara would have made during the ’70s, when Times Square was something more than a Disney theme park. Baise-moi is an audacious piece of feminist empowerment, a Dogma-style experiment that mixes in Russ Meyer playfulness with dramatic elements from numerous popular films, from Thelma & Louise to Natural Born Killers. It’s polemical but completely unpretentious, unlike, say, Catherine Breillat’s Romance and Leos Carax’s Pola X. Baise-moi may appeal to extremists but this feminist howl is more necessary than ever because of the conservative retrenchment we’re experiencing in this country. The film is less polished than Ferrara’s Ms. 45 but if Zoë Lund ever aimed her gun lower and, say, into a man’s ass, Baise-moi would be the result. Directors Coralie Trinh Tri and Virginie Despentes tell the story of a rape victim who goes on a countrywide killing spree with a female companion she randomly meets on the street. There isn’t much of a plot but the attention to detail, however subconscious, is remarkable. While she’s being raped, Nadine (Karen Lancaume) refuses to allow her rapist to see her squirm, evoking her reactionary spirit. Far more fascinating is the fact that the man stops raping her because of her act of retaliation. Baise-moi has been called irresponsible when it champions self-respect and moral responsibility. Save for the curious deaths of Nadine’s best male friend and a woman on the street, every man in the film is murdered because of his bad behavior. Viciously hellbent on avenging female scars, Baise-moi likens guns to female tools of empowerment, not unlike what men have between their legs. Even when Baise-moi is seemingly undermined by Thelma & Louise-style self-defeatism, the film ends on a hauntingly ironic note. Evocative, cocky and downright riveting, Baise-moi is exploitative ’til the every end. The directors strip one of their main characters of her final emotional release and suggest that a female’s ownership of her body is an ongoing, elusive struggle.

Buy
DVD
Distributor
FilmFixx
Runtime
77 min
Rating
NR
Year
2000
Director
Virginie Despentes, Coralie Trinh Tri
Screenwriter
Virginie Despentes, Coralie Trinh Tri
Cast
Raffaela Anderson, Karen Lancaume, Delphine MacCarty, Hervé P. Gustave, Marc Rioufol, Lisa Marshall, Estelle Isaac, Ouassini Embarek