‘Raw’ (2016) Review by Polina Goupalo

Depth of Field

Like its chosen
subject, Raw is surrounded by
mysticism. Opening at the festival circuit back in 2016, rumours spread far and
wide about the impressionable French horror film which left audiences vomiting
and fainting in masses. But for all its media furore about the horror and gore
on-screen, Raw is one of the most
humane cannibal representations in cinema.

Considering the film’s
subject matter, however, the exaggerated reports aren’t surprising. As the
director herself puts it, “It’s too close.” Cannibals are commonly placed in
the same supernatural realm of horror as vampires and zombies. From scientific
experiments-gone-wrong to ‘savage’ tribes living outside of civilisation,
cannibals have often been presented as the Other. But the reality is that cannibals
really do exist and they’re biologically no different to us, which is why we
find them so disturbing. With all the films attempting to understand murderers
and incest, Ducournau unapologetically tackles the…

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