When Hanah re-emerges in the life of her pre-pubescent daughter, she comes with a strange, yet attractive proposition: she needs her own girl to pose for her in ways that would later take by surprise the Parisian art world of the 1970s.
Violetta is raised by her grandmother. Her mother Hanna tries to make a living on taking photographs and concentrates on her dreams to become a famous artist. In order to succeed as an artist she doesn't worry about dating men of questionable reputation. Only every now and then her mother visits her daughter but during these occasions it occurs to her that her daughter could be a potential model. She starts exploiting her daughter who by transforming into a kind of Lolita becomes increasingly alienated from other children of her age. At school she is eventually frequently insulted and rejected. Then Mamie dies and Hannah's photographs are about to unequivocally overstep the line of acceptability. Hanna even coerces Violetta mercilessly into cooperation by withholding her food in case she doesn't agree to pose for increasingly daring photographs.
This is the first time I've written a review here. I couldn't contain myself. This film made me feel so strongly...I can hardly write.
Let me give you a quick background on me. As a victim of years of childhood sexual abuse, I've found myself, at various times, watching movies that deal with the subject. You'd think it would be "triggering" and in some form it is. But for reasons I can't explain, it helps me cope and heal. I appreciate a well-done film that tackles the matter because when done right, it can show that these people are not mythical monsters, some frightening force on Law and Order: SVU. They are real human beings. When you see them that way, they lose all of their power. You see them as small, weak, pathetic. And that helps me cope with my past.
Returning to the film. I am STILL shocked this is a true story. And not because it happened. But because of the aftermath. What this woman inflicted on her daughter is horrific. But what fills me with vitriol, what is the most disgusting, is that she has never recognized that what she did was wrong. What a pathetic excuse for a human being. What world do we live in, that a woman can exploit her daughter and create child pornography, but claim that it's "art"?
I've seen the photographs. A quick Google search brings them up. Ionesco was actually a talented photographer. She had an opportunity to take some lovely, interesting photographs of her daughter. But, no. What shocks me is that you can Google these and see them! A fully nude photo on a German magazine when she was 12. Half nude photos of her at 10. And not only that, but in sexual poses and outfits. These are the sorts of photos that land people in jail for the rest of their lives.
You can't claim this as art. Imagine all the pedophiles who delight in the ability to freely access this pornography. These sick people can easily leer at perfectly innocent images of children, yes. BUT this is not some catalog photo of a child modeling a swimsuit. These are EROTIC. What. the. ****. This disgusting piece of trash should be in jail for the rest of her life. Instead, she gets to live her life, continuing to defend her "art" and even duping so many people into believing that this didn't damage her child. I feel as though I could write a book about how disgusted, appalled, and enraged I am by a weak, self- indulgent, abusive, absolutely worthless excuse for a human.
With all of that said, it is this background that makes me admire Huppert's portrayal. She's always had a dark presence. She's a powerhouse. I despised her in this. And that was the point. There were faults in the film, yes, and it's not perfect. But Huppert carries it, and her performance is worth the watch.
I've seen far too many films regarding abuse, rape, and sexual exploitation. And this is one of the worst I've ever seen. It will be hard to keep this from my mind over the next few days. I hope making this has helped Eva cope. I hope that this film can shed some light on how subtle sexual abuse can be, and if the public is more aware of it, perhaps we can stop damaging these innocent children.
Burn in hell, Ionesco.
11 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this