Rape Me (2000) Poster

(2000)

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4/10
a sexual and violent experience....but a very nice one
jeroenberndsen114 September 2003
Maybe it's because I live in Holland and have a very open mind to sex, drugs and well, maybe not to murder but I was not that shocked.

Of course the rape scene was a bit hard and did not leave much to your imagination, but the rest.... Me and my girlfriend were just entertained by the rest of the movie.

I just read some other 20 user comments and I was in fact shocked by those. Prudish americans and british telling you that it is shocking and garbage and so on. A 5.0 average makes also clear that most of the people are still filled with tabboos.

Big erections and mindless sex.... so what? shooting people up there arse? surely I'd prefer that compared to what happens to the guy that rapes marsellus wallace in Pulp Fiction.

Indeed this was a low budget movie and the camerawork was perhaps of poor quality but it suits the pic. As a student indeed a search for reasons and meaning and I find it hihgly irritating that some people complain about things left unexplained. What are you? Can't you think and maybe even guess for yourselves? Does everything have to be explained?

We both liked it and surely I understand this is not a movie for everyone. I think more of it as an experimental piece of work, seek your own reasons for what they are doing, enjoy this wild ride and if you persist in having a monumentuous storyline, oscar performances and so on, and you are not specifically entertained by x rated sex, lots of blood and the socalled 'holes' in this story then....

Just don't watch this movie!!!!

The backside of the DVD or VHS gives plenty of clues that this is a controversial movie and when you have an open mind and like these kind of movies, i recommend it.

We give it a 7.0
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A thought provoking shocker...
murphmeister7513 January 2004
I've read a lot of the comments for this movie and think that many of you have missed the point. The directors claim this to be a movie about friendship - and that the bonds of that relationship have nothing to do with the circumstances from which they are born. I'm somewhat sceptical about that. If you just wanted to make a movie about friendship, it could be about nuns. Or puppies. Or just about anything. But Baise-moi (which translates as Shag Me, not F**k Me) serves to highlight very clearly the moral hypocrisy that surrounds cinema, and has done ever since the days of the Hayes Code. The irony here lies in the fact that it is the explicit sex that caused the film to be banned in so many territories. No one has a problem with the violence. Sure, the violence might be simulated, and the sex isn't - but they both occupy the same space on the screen. And while it's legal to have sex in the privacy of your home, the violence depicted could never be legal. After all, you can see worse violence in Freddy vs. Jason, and more explicit sex on any porn video you might choose, so what is it about the combination that riles people so? I'll concede that the film is flawed, and demonstrates the debutant directors lack of experience, but for the challenge it sets to our jaded set of morals in the west, it should be applauded.
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8/10
Such a shame
winkimation3 March 2005
It always interests me that anyone can really call this porn. This is an interesting film, even if you think it's 'crap'. Why is it that all the men I know who've watched it, think it's crap? I teach this film as part of a course and without fail all male students thus far have said it's 'not porn' and the thing they most objected to was seeing 'grannies doin' it'. Could it be the fact that for once we actually see men's faces when they come that disturbs so much? What we never or rarely see in porn, is a male appearing vulnerable. In Baise-Moi this is explored. As is said above, yes the 'plot' may be virtually non-existent, but isn't that the case with most regurgitated mainstream films anyway? This film isn't about stimulating an audience sexually, be they male or female, indeed it is just as objectionable to women as it is to men. But I do believe that the reasons are different. The feedback I've received is that men are expecting to be aroused either through plot, character or scenes of a blatant sexual nature. Women are generally just intrigued and then often put off by the violence - by the women - that is often apparently unmotivated. We don't really see films where women are violent without 'good' cause, it's too disturbing and dispels too many myths that potentially undermine society, supposedly. Only just over a decade ago a film, which by comparison views like Bambi, was almost not made because it depicted 'female violence'. Thelma and Louise was viewed as a rather risky production.

So I'm not surprised that Baise-Moi gets a slating. It may well be all those things that the above reviewer suggests, and indeed there are elements I agree with. But this is an important film, even if you watch it just to hate it. If you do hate it, all I ask is that you really think about why you hate it. If you want CGI, predictable narrative structure, drip-feed invisible editing, and to feel absorbed and immersed (I knock none of these things), then don't bother. If you're a thinking person who has an inquiring mind, give it a go.
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Definitely not for everyone
Reggie_Charan3 November 2003
Don't be swayed by all the negative comments, Baise Moi is a worthwhile film. Yes the sex is explicit, and much of the violence simply pointless, but underneath it all remains a compelling vision of two people on a road trip to hell. Both leads may come from porn, but their acting skills are totally credible. One of the most nihilistic movies ever made.
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No Closing Your Eyes to Society's Injustice
Dries Vermeulen28 September 2007
Why are people so outraged by BAISE-MOI (which literally means F**K ME, the English language title is a travesty) ? Is it because of the explicit sex (far more fleeting than that shown in any porno tape freely available at most corner video shops), the stylized ultra-violence or the combination of the two ? Unlike some films, this one doesn't in any way glorify violence though, it merely shows the sad inevitability of it as far as its two main characters are concerned.

Both Nadine (Karen Lancaume aka Karen Bach) and Manu (Raffaella Anderson) routinely endure violation both in word and deed on an almost daily basis as sex workers, prostitute and part-time porno performer respectively. The gang rape of Manu and her drug-addicted friend shown here is totally different from the clichéd they-may-protest-at-first type of rape scene encountered in some adults only features. While the other girl cries and screams throughout (and is ever more horribly abused because of it), Manu adopts a facade of indifferent resignation, cleverly robbing her rapists of their sadistic thrill. Rest assured that the scene goes on a lot longer than anyone would want it to and that it is very painful to watch, which is the whole point of it.

When Manu and Nadine meet and embark on their violent road trip, fully aware that they ultimately can't 'get away with it', sex becomes a source of liberation to them. Like so many guys on the lam in any criminal buddy movie you can think of, they take what they want, when and how they want it, casually discarding (not always violently) their casual partners post-orgasm. One of the most common accusations at porn's address is that the explicit sex scenes dehumanize the people performing them, but here that could not be further from the truth.

Former hardcore actresses Lancaume and Anderson are both terrific in their parts and the sex they have (and, yes, it is 'real' sex) enhances their characterizations, rendering them more complete. The 'cinema vérité' rawness of the digital video format in which it was shot, interrupted by sudden flashes of style when violence erupts (an artistic decision to give the viewer a feel for the power and pleasure the women derive from their acts as an escape route from their drab lives), draws the viewer uncomfortably close to the action. Again, that seems to be the point.

So don't let the negative publicity fool you. BAISE-MOI is a rare film that utterly achieves what it sets out to do and it bodes well for debut cinéastes Despentes (author of the sulfurous source novel) and ex-porn star Coralie. You may love it (as I obviously did) or you may hate it, but this is an important film that no one is likely to ever forget, no matter how hard they might try.
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7/10
useful perhaps in looking at the issues it raises
Chris_Docker23 September 2007
I'm not exactly a Francophile. I love the cooking but hate the restaurants. French is one of the great languages of the world, but I find the French attitude to it xenophobic. Yet there is one thing that always stirs my passion. I admire them for it. I wish we had an ounce of it in Britain.

The best known examples of course are the film protests in 1968 – a time when everyone was protesting about everything. But they helped, indirectly, to restore the international prestige of French cinema. When Baise-Moi was banned shortly after release in 2000, there were spontaneous street protests. Now this is a bit different – the film's artistic merits or lack of them are still a matter of debate. But I take my hats off to the French. I would love to see the British protest in the name of cinematic freedom. (The ban was eventually lifted after separate protests signed by Parisian intellectuals.)

As you will already have guessed, the issues around this film are complicated. And they get worse. There is a tendency to react emotively to any highly charged sexual issues. This tendency can maybe blind us somewhat when it comes to analysing more important ones.

This is a film made by women, about women living on the fringes of society. I was once importunate enough to argue with acclaimed filmmaker Gaspar Noé (after a public screening of Irreversible) that his film didn't address the issue of rape as well as Baise Moi. I still believe that, although Irreversible is a landmark film for other reasons entirely. Most films about rape follow male-orientated story lines. They often emphasise the purely physical, violence-aspect (as in Irreversible) or have a strong woman seeking and finding redress (as in The Accused). The reality is that most rape victims are traumatised mentally and emotionally. Physical hurt as a result of violence is no less an issue, but a separate one. Although The Accused looks at some of the metal trauma, it ultimately plays out as a success story. Few rape victims take on such a masculinised determination to succeed against the odds. Odds which are still stacked against the victim.

What I liked about Baise-Moi is that it eschews the woman-survivor scenario for a more realistic picture of lasting psychological damage. Films that show the real horror of rape may discourage it more than ones that show women 'getting over it.' One of the victims of rape in Baise-Moi actually 'lets' her assailants get on with it, commenting to her friend afterwards that at least they didn't wind up dead. The rape (and the violence) of Baise-Moi convinced me that she probably hedged her bets wisely. Her lack of struggle didn't, in my mind, make her any the less a victim. And neither did the unpleasant fact that she was a part-time prostitute make her any more 'deserving.' This is something that it is not easy to live with. As a society, we have moved past the point where a girl in a short skirt acting flirtatiously (The Accused) is 'asking for it' or 'deserving of rape.' But where is our cut-off point? The marginals in society are often seen as dispensable. No-one wants to acknowledge them – least of all mainstream filmmakers. Yet they can be just as much victims.

Another thing I like about Baise-Moi is that the two girls that form a bond and go on a road trip are fully developed as characters. Like most young women, they enjoy having a good time and going after boys. But they have been mentally scarred. One of them has been brutally gang-raped and the other has watched her only friend being killed. They are not 'good girls gone bad'. They are fairly 'bad' already. But they are still victims. Beneath their bravado their mental deterioration is apparent. In Black Snake Moan, the horrific effects of a redneck woman's history of sexual abuse and rape are given some time through Christina Ricci's great acting, but the plot is driven by male characters towards a stupid and not very believable conclusion. In Baise-Moi, it is the trauma that the women went through that drives the plot. (Sadly one of the main actresses, Karen Bach committed suicide in 2005.) The film is arguably weakened by a change of style. The initial scenes are very realistic, including the horrific rape. But then the main protagonists go on a killing spree reminiscent of Natural Born Killers on trash aesthetic. Perhaps this is appropriate – they live in la-la land as long as they can. But it will confuse some viewers.

"To reclaim women's rights over their true sexuality, to seize it back from the male gaze. It's always men who have a problem with a woman's sex: that's their problem, not ours." A noble aim by the filmmakers. But will feminists baulk when they realise that one of the directors and two of the stars have previously worked in hard-core pornography? "There's no logical reason why sex scenes should only be in porn," says Trinh Thi. Indeed, Hollywood agrees. I am sure there are convincing psychological arguments, but realistic sex still upsets many audiences (personally I have more of a problem with overly-realistic violence).

This analysis has outstayed its welcome. I have laboured the good points of the film and rated it accordingly. On a technical level, the idea of using only natural lighting also works well. But apart from its stand against censorship and the way it deals with rape, the film is lacking in many respects. It was made on a very small budget and it shows. The acting is acceptable but not much is demanded from actors in terms of interiorisation and so on. There's a good soundtrack. But the main reason to see the film may probably be to argue over the issues it raises.
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3/10
Coarse and Crude: the Film as Well as Its Subjects
RJBose25 July 2001
I first saw a poster advertising this film on a street in Helsinki, Finland in June of 2000. What caught my attention was the proud proclamation advising all readers that the movie, although itself French, had been "Banned in France". Upon returning home to New York, I discovered that one of the "Art House" movie theaters in the City was screening the film, and so (with my Finnish fiancee) decided to see what all the fuss was about. Boy, did we ever.

From the comments read here, and the reviews I knew the movie was violent and sexually explicit. Not necessarily offended by either of these two conditions, I went with an open mind to see what had perturbed the sensibilities of our Gallic cousins. Presumably, as anyone who is reading this will know, the story involves two women who embark on a crime and murder spree in France (the movie has English subtitles). The resemblance to "Thelma and Louise" however, ends with that; the sex is unusually graphic (and in copious supply) as is the violence (a lot of stomping to death, and a lot of blood and other organic matter splattering after bullet impact).

On an intellectual level, one could make the case that the film's very essence is the relationship of sex and violence (as manifested by the only sex these women know: one is a small-time prostitute, and the other has earned money from time to time by performing in pornographic films. When they, during their descent into crime and murder, have the upper hand over their sexual situations, they react only with the same violence and brutality that they themselves know and understand. It is important to note, however, that the victims of their rampage are not only creepy men interested in creepy sex, (of which there are several)but innocent passersby, a woman at an ATM, for example, as well.

I myself do not really understand why the repeated "porn-movie" shots were all that necessary, (except to depict the physical contact as cruel, unpassionate and debased) and the unrelenting gore did get rather tedious after the first few violent spasms.

It is a coarse and crude movie, but in fairness, it is dealing with coarse and crude people and equally unpleasant circumstances. From one point of view, the lives of the French underclasses is explored, and it's pretty grim; a travelogue for France it definitely is not- perhaps that's why the French banned it.
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5/10
Simply not very good.
El_Farmerino_Esq8 June 2006
Amidst all the controversy about the porno-style sex scenes, random acts of violence, liberal depictions of drug use and so on it seems the central question has been lost - is Baise-moi actually any good? Well, the answer is "No - not really."

It starts well enough, nicely setting up the two main characters with some very well-acted, almost documentary-like scenes. Well, I say nicely - the word seems hardly appropriate when these scenes include Manu and another woman suffering a genuinely harrowing rape while Karen prostitutes herself, along with a liberal smattering of general sex, violence and substance abuse. Nevertheless, the opening is well-played out and directed with surprising flair (especially considering that this is the debut movie for both its directors).

However, when the plot kicks in proper and the two women end up on the run together the film's interest begins to drop fast. Oddly, the further out of control the two protagonists get the less exciting the story is - it gradually becomes a mere retread of countless other low-grade revenge/exploitation movies, simply with a slightly more porno feel. By the denouement, to be brutally honest, I was bored stiff (a stiffness which is nothing to do with the pornographic element of the movie, I assure you).

One of the main problems is the inherent lack of any kind of point. The beginning of the movie seems to be setting the film up as an analysis of our responses to violence - of how an upbringing in a cruel and violent environment can manifest those tendencies in ourselves - and also as a commentary on the parallels and links between violence and the act of fornication. However, it completely fails to deliver on either of these promises in the second and third acts and, increasingly, one gets the feeling the film's only reason for being is that it thinks it is cool. Unfortunately for Baise-moi, it isn't. It's a wasted opportunity. It's only real use is as a shock tactic, but even this is wasted on anyone who's seen a porn film - the violence side of it is no worse than is seen in any number of straight-to-video action/thriller flicks.

Ultimately, all there is to recommend Baise-moi is a couple of impressive acting performances, a few amusing lines of dialogue and a thought-provoking 20 minutes at the start. The rest, sadly, is nothing to get excited about.
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8/10
Thelma & Louise for grownups
lastliberal11 December 2008
This was not one of the infamous video nasties, but it is nonetheless a nasty video. The sex is raw and the violence is in-your-face, just like the title, which was translated into "Rape Me" in the US, but is more appropriately "F*ck Me." I noted that it was supposedly banned in it's home country, France, and it was certainly banned in other countries like Australia or heavily cut. Do not think for one moment that it was banned for sex or violence. It was banned because of the depiction of men in the film, not a single one with any redeeming social values. It is a hard film to take because all the men in it are pigs.

It is based upon a novel by Virginie Despentes who, with Coralie wrote and directed this film. This is a women's film about women's rage. If this is the way women really feel when they are p*ssed, then you better be warned.

It open with a rape that leaves nothing to the imagination. There is no doubt about the pain being felt. One of the victims, and another woman who just saw her friend killed, join together in an adventure across France. It becomes more and more violent as they go on. Not cartoonish, like Natural Born Killers, but raw violence; uncaring, unmerciful, and brutal.

The sex is real, but it is like nothing you see in porn films. The sex is driven by the women's needs, it shows the vulnerability of men during orgasm, and the men are discarded like used tissues, if they are not killed, when the women have been satisfied.

They even have a Thelma and Louise plan to die together by jumping off a cliff. Circumstances do not allow that to happen, and the ending is rather abrupt and somewhat lacking.

Men joke about PMS, but if it is anything like the rage depicted by the women who made this film, you better watch out. This rage is nothing to joke about.
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It's got nobs in and I don't mean rich people
Rathcoole15 April 2003
Baise-moi is the second example of the recent French Graphic Rape Wave of cinema. Like a skanky French Natural Born Killers but without the talent, irony or indeed entertainment, the heavy-handed symbolism and maddening acting should have you turning off after the first 40 minutes. You continue to watch however, mainly though a fascination as to how far the director is willing to push the boundaries of good taste in order to convince us of his point. Something to do with society raping people and by-products of the system, a reflection of the perversity at the root of civilisation, monkeys with guns and Girl Power.

Joining the sensational release of Irreversible, with its centrepiece a nine minute rape scene, it could look to some that modern French cinema had found itself in a quandary, desperately seeking its next big theme in the rapidly thinning file of the last taboos. Thankfully, L'Homme du train dispelled those fears,at least for now. And maybe just two films don't make a wave, perhaps just a ripple.

However, nothing changes the fact that when the closing credits finally arrived, I was angry. Because it was rubbish. Not a patch on the glory of La Haine which dealt with a similar rage, but with far more heart and intelligence. Baise-Moi also has the worst soundtrack ever. I've got to stop wasting my life watching all these terrible films.
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