French filmmaker Julia Ducournau breaks down her incredible cannibal coming of age shocker Raw
Filmmaker Julia Ducournau‘s French/Belgian shocker Raw is exactly the macabre marvel you’ve hear it is. It’s a profound and edgy cinematic experience and though it positions itself as a horror movie, it goes deeper and has different motives. It’s also stylish, disturbing, darkly funny, kinky, totally revolting and oddly…feminine. After a wildly-successful international festival run last year, Raw (aka Grave) hits limited US theaters via Focus World on March 10th, this Friday in fact. You’d be well served to watch it.
The film sees sweet, shy vegetarian Justine (Garance Marillier) enrolling in a looming, almost prison-like veterinarian college, joining her sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf) and at the urging of her similarly vegetarian, pacifist parents. Justine is immediately roped into a perverse, ultra-aggressive hazing ritual, wherein all the new recruits are doused in blood. That night, Justine finds herself in itchy agony, clawing at a bright red, scaly rash that has encrusted her body. After a visit to the doctor, who assures her all is well, Justine starts feeling odd. Her aversion to meat starts to wane, replaced with a genuine hunger, for what she’s not sure. One night, after her sister volunteers to wax Justine’s nether regions (an oddly erotic sequence), a scissor-slip results in Alexia losing a finger and passing out. As Justine panics and calls for an ambulance, she picks up the finger and involuntarily begins stripping the flesh from the bone like a bloody chicken wing. The beast inside wakes up and though she tries to fight it, there’s no denying that Justine has – through some sort of potentially viral infection or maybe some other means – become a kind of cannibal vampire. She wants blood, flesh and sex, in that order.
We called the brilliant Ducournau yesterday to discuss her intimate masterwork and we certainly didn’t hold back our enthusiasm. Nor should we have. The movie – and its maker – commands rapture…
Here then, in its entirety, is that interview. Enjoy.