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Anatomy of Hell (2004)

Anatomie de l'enfer (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 28 January 2004 (France)
A woman employs a gay man to spend four nights at her house to watch her when she's "unwatchable".



(novel), (screenplay)

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Cast overview:
The woman
The man
Alexandre Belin ...
Blow-job lover 1
Manuel Taglang ...
Blow-job lover 2
Jacques Monge ...
Man in bar
Claudio Carvalho ...
Boy with bird
Carolina Lopes ...
Little girl
Diego Rodrigues ...
Little boy playing doctor (as 'Diogo Rodriques')
João Marques ...
Little boy playing doctor
Bruno Fernandes ...
Little boy playing doctor
Maria Edite Moreira ...
Pharmacist 1
Maria João Santos ...
Pharmacist 2
Pauline Hunt ...
Amira Casar's stand-in
Narrator (voice)


A man rescues a woman from a suicide attempt in a gay nightclub. Walking the streets together, she propositions him: She'll pay him to visit her at her isolated house for four consecutive nights. There he will silently watch her. He's reluctant, but agrees. As the four nights progress, they become more intimate with each other, and a mutual fascination/revulsion develops. By the end of the four-day "contract", these two total strangers will have had a profound impact on each other. Written by Mr_John_Barrymore

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

28 January 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Anatomy of Hell  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


For the close-ups of the female sexual parts, Catherine Breillat deliberately chose a body double for Amira Casar who was quite hairy. This was to counter expectations of female nudity in film and also to reinforce the male character's aversion to what he sees in a naked woman. See more »


The woman: The woman is the man's disease.
See more »


Referenced in Brows Held High: 9 Songs (2012) See more »


Timeless Bass
Composed and Produced by D'Julz
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User Reviews

27 October 2004 | by (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

Anatomy Of Hell, is one of those films where the vision of its creator is so specific, that all characters and situations exist purely to illustrate the auteur's theory. You may argue that this is true of any film, but in this case, if you're not either fascinated by the filmmakers perspective or find some truth in what they are saying, you will doubtlessly dismiss this film as an obscure, academic exercise given the lack of dimension beyond Catherine Breillat's singular focus.

It's focus, specifically is the attraction/revulsion men share for the nuances of the vagina. I would say 'and female sexuality in general', but that's not really case. Over the course of four consecutive evenings a man repulsed by all things vaginal, is paid to observe a series of vaginal revelations in great detail, by woman he meets in a nightclub. His gradual acceptance of her physical dimensions causes a new 'awakening' of intimacy, that he is unable to admit to or ignore.

Interesting, but I found Catherine Breillat's perspective for want of nuance, though both sexes are presented, but I found her vision more provocative than insightful. Her decision to portray the man, for all intents-and-purposes, as a homosexual who's preference was determined not by his attraction to men, but revulsion of women, dubious and needlessly self-persecuting.

62 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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