1991-2000CrimeDramaFranceVirginie Despentes and Coralie

Virginie Despentes & Coralie – Baise-moi AKA Fuck Me (2000)


Two young women, marginalised by society, go on a destructive tour of sex and violence. Breaking norms and killing men – and shattering the complacency of polite cinema audiences.

Baise-moi (Fuck Me) is a 2000 French thriller film written and co-directed by Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh Thi and starring Karen Lancaume and Raffaëla Anderson. It is based on the homonymous novel by Despentes, first published in 1999. The film received intense media coverage because of its graphic mix of violence and explicit sex scenes. Consequently, it is sometimes considered an example of the “New French Extremity”.

Baiser is a French verb meaning “to fuck”; it also means “a kiss” when used as a noun (un baiser). Baise-moi would be translated as “Fuck me”. The film has also been screened in some markets as “Rape me”, but this translation, which is not in the French word, was rejected by the directors in a 2002 interview.

In 2000, The Film Censorship Board of Malaysia banned the film outright due to “very high impact violence and sexual content throughout”. That same year, the film was later banned in Singapore due to “its depictions of sexual violence may cause controversy in Singapore”. In Australia, the film was allowed to be shown at cinemas with an R18+ (adults only) rating. Then in 2002, the film was pulled from cinemas and television and after that, banned outright. The film is still banned there due to its “harmful, explicit sexually violent content”, and was re-banned in 2013. However, an edited R18+ version was screened on 23 August 2013 on the World Movies channel of the Australian state broadcaster SBS, as part of the World Movies “Films That Shocked The World” season.

The film was filmed on location between October and December 1999 in Biarritz, Bordeaux, Lyon and Marseille. It was shot on digital video without artificial lighting. This low budget method of filming divided critics – some said it gave the film an amateurish look. Lou Lumenick, reviewing the film in the New York Post, went further and said it “looked like hell”. Others, such as James Travers writing for filmsdefrance.com, said the filming method added something to the film. Travers wrote “the film’s ‘rough and ready’ feel helps to strengthen its artistic vision and draws out the messages which it is trying to get across, without distracting its audience with overly choreographed ‘shock scenes’.”

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