Beautiful and young, Stella is a popular go-go dancer living alone with her mother by the French Riviera. Their lives unravel when a middle-age man becomes obsessed with Stella. (French with English subtitles).
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I saw this on the EuropaEuropa station, and like a lot of the films on that station it kind of has the feel of a TV movie, but with full-frontal nudity (it's French after all). A young college student with a bright future is brutally raped one night by a stranger. She doesn't tell anybody, but quickly sinks into a self-destructive bout of drinking, drugs, and promiscuous sex. This is kind of realistic I guess--there's a phenomenon where rape victims will often engage in consensual sex right afterwards, which in America anyway is sometimes used against them in court as evidence that they weren't really raped. I suppose women might find this movie pretty empowering.
One thing that bothered me personally though: the lead actress Vahina Giocante (odd name there)really has a great body, and while there is nothing at all erotic about the brutal rape scene, the subsequent sex scenes or the long scenes of her brooding in the bathtub are a different story. I think half the audience (i.e. men) might have a slightly different reaction to this movie than what was perhaps intended. In that respect, this kind of reminded me of two other recent French movies (which I probably also saw on EuropaEuropa), Catherine Breillat's "Romance", which was half tedious feminist diatribe and half really hot sex, and "Bad Company", which was kind of strange combination of an alarmist American TV movie about teenage girls and oral sex mixed with the traditional French penchant for borderline pedophilia. I liked this better than those two, but I can't help thinking that this kind French feminism and softcore sex is sort of at cross-purposes with itself. But then, maybe I'm just unsophisticated American, all the time I spend watching EuropaEuropa notwithstanding.
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