Anne Claire PoirierCanada96 minutes1979ColourFrench
Brutal, angry and compelling, Anne Claire Poirier's controversial broadside against sexual assault brilliantly combines raw intensity with artful distanciation.
Brutal, angry and compelling, Anne Claire Poirier's controversial broadside against sexual assault brilliantly combines raw intensity with artful distanciation. Leaving her hospital late one night, nurse Suzanne (Julie Vincent) is dragged into a truck, where she is beaten and raped by the driver; traumatized by the attack, she spirals into depression and despair. In another narrative frame, Poirier depicts a filmmaker and an editor (Monique Miller and Micheline Lanctôt) who are making a film about Suzanne, and uses their debates about the presentation of the events on screen to create a wider social, cultural and political discussion about rape and violence towards women. "[Poirier's] dialectic formal structure helps viewers grapple with the film's difficult images, which, alongside the graphic rape scene, include documentary footage of female genital mutilation and female victims of the war in Vietnam. Together, Suzanne's rape and the systemic violence against women on a global scale signify how misogyny is built into a wide range of social structures" (Shana Macdonald).