Starring Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf
Directed by Julia Ducournau
Justine (Garance Marillier) is a 16-year-old veterinary school freshman from a vegetarian family, who turns cannibalistic after eating raw rabbit kidney at a hazing ritual.
The French art-house horror Raw is a 2016 Cannes Film Festival prize-winner gory with blood and images of gnawed-off human parts.
It had audiences walking out, and caused faintings that required emergency medical attention.
Julia Ducournau is the French writer-director, and her very realism is what takes her feature debut beyond schlock into a strong and intelligent female rite-of-passage fable on Justine awakening to the pleasures of the flesh under the encouragement of her older sister (Ella Rumpf).
Her gay roommate (Rabah Nait Oufella) becomes her first sexual encounter: it does not end well. Peer pressure, sibling rivalry and body image are also part of this coming of age, and Justine, played by Garance Marillier, is a sympathetic naïf, bewildered and helpless at her feral metamorphosis.
In French with English subtitles. * * * * (Photo: UIP)