Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Sexual Politics

À ma Soeur! (2001) - Breillat
More of a statement than a movie in line with Catherine Breillat's rest of the filmography yet it raises some interesting questions from young women's point of view. Sisters Elena (Roxane Mesquina) and Anais (Anais Reboux) are vacationing with their parents in a small town near the sea. The archetypes are set - Elena, a 15 year old is a slutty, pretty one and Anais, a chubby jealous younger sister. But when it comes to boys, Anais turns out to have a more pragmatic view on things. When Elena is contemplating going all the way with a good looking twenty something Italian boy, Anais declares that she will only have sex with someone she isn't in love with. But naturally, Elena gets all the attention and sharing the room with her sister, Anais tearfully gets to witness her sister banging and all. Is she crying because of jealousy or is she crying for all the girls being coerced to give in even though they didn't want to?

À ma soeur presents a bleak view of male/female relationship. Sexual coercion and pressure tactics are painfully demonstrated by the Italian boy. Sibling dynamics are also examined - disturbing since Breillat has expressed her relationship with her older sister in her other films. The worst possible scenario that could possibly happen to a little girl happens, out of nowhere. It's too cartoon-ish to be taken seriously. I can only take it as a big middle finger to anyone who was expecting anything other than that ending.