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Raw; The Sense of an Ending; Clash; I Am Not Your Negro and more – review

 

A vegetarian student craves human flesh in Julia Ducournau’s prize-winning Raw, The Sense of an Ending is a bloodless affair, and Huppert sings

Last year I was on a film festival jury that wound up, after several hours of finicky deliberation, giving our top prize to Julia Ducournau’s coming-of-cannibalistic-age nightmare Raw (Universal, 18). It was, to all of us, an unexpected vote of consensus for a film that seduces through repulsion. “What have we approved?” a fellow juror asked me with a grin as we delivered our verdict. Ducournau’s debut lands on screen like a live, throbbing heart plucked from its housing chest, wrapped in rose-coloured satin instead of butcher’s paper.

It doesn’t take long for a grisly grindhouse soul to emerge from its gleaming exterior. As the rituals of campus hazing take their dizzying toll on her, vegetarian veterinary student Justine (Garance Marillier) finds within herself a grislier kind of carnal urge than that usually felt by college kids. As a witty metaphor for the subversive powers of female sexuality, Raw bunks in the same sorority as Carrie and Ginger Snaps, though its most sense-searing excesses are very much its own. Ducournau sees as much body-horror potential here in a botched bikini wax as in a bout of literal knuckle-gnawing. A film in complete sympathy with its heroine’s extreme bodily desires, it’s as grossly red and as quiveringly tender as the best rare steak.

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Source: Gaurdian

By Max Schindler