The low budget, sex and violence-filled movie is available uncut in the UK for the first time
When it comes to splitting opinion straight down the midriff, few films from the last couple of decades have been quite so marmite as Baise-Moi. For some, this low-budget French movie from 2000 was simply a porno with a bit more story than usual. For others, it was social commentary par excellence, just with actual penetration and fellatio on screen.
Co-director Virginie Despentes wrote the original book (roughly translated as ‘Fuck Me’) based partly on her own experiences of rape and prostitution while the film’s main actors (Karen Bach and Raffaëla Anderson) plus Despentes’ partner behind the camera, Coralie Trinh Thi, were all survivors of the porn industry. Their response to the film’s critics is straightforward: having escaped that tawdry business would they simply go out and make porn under a different guise?
Despite protestations from the film-makers and anti-censorship groups, Baise-Moi was banned in several countries (including their French homeland) and remains strictly prohibited in Australia where you could receive ten years in jail for simply owning a copy.
Stoked controversy and tragic aftermath aside (Bach committed suicide in 2005 leaving a note which said ‘too painful’), what of the film itself? It follows two troubled women (one a prostitute, the other a part-time porn star) as they embark on a vengeful road trip brutally slaying sleazy men and female sex workers, though any ‘innocent’ victim who gets in the way is given similarly short and murderous shrift. Shot on video, Baise-Moi has a raw look which certainly fits the harsh subject matter, but it only accentuates some of the movie’s clunkier and amateurish moments. Now available uncut in the UK for the first time, it’s an intriguing period piece for those with strong stomachs.