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Dir. Catherine Breillat
2001, France, 86 min
Rated 18A
French with English subtitles

Anaïs is twelve and bears the weight of the world on her shoulders. She watches her older sister, Elena, whom she both loves and hates. While the girls are on vacation with their parents, Anaïs tags along as Elena explores the dreary seaside town. Fat Girl is not only a portrayal of female adolescent sexuality and the complicated bond between siblings but also a shocking assertion by the always controversial Catherine Breillat that violent oppression exists at the core of male-female relations.

Presented in partnership with Alliance Française du Manitoba. Generously sponsored by the Ambassade de France au Canada.

Content warning: This film includes challenging and/or triggering subject matter, including discussions and depictions of sexual violence.


“Get over the numb shock that accompanies the end credits, give yourself some distance from it and you may actually appreciate the complex machinations behind Breillat’s brave, troubled work.” – Melanie McFarland, Seattle Times

“Bold but unrelenting in its depiction of both physical and emotional aggression, Fat Girl will be bracing for those open to its challenges and brutal for those who aren’t.” – Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star

“I often like to say that I am not scandalous but that I am a scandal, and that society has actually denied me the right to exist.”

This summer, the Dave Barber Cinematheque presents Female Perversions: The Films of Catherine Breillat, featuring four explicit, transgressive and emotionally ambiguous works – Romance (1999), Fat Girl (2001), Anatomy of Hell (2004), and Last Summer (2023).

Over the last three decades, Catherine Breillat has clinically charted sexuality and its intersections with power and intimacy. In her films, she treats sexual politics as philosophical and coldly analytical, confronting the viewer with the explicit taboos around the body. Her films explore the adolescent obsession with the loss of virginity, masochism, misogyny, and female sexuality. For Breillat, there is always an element of power involved in pleasure.

Transgressive and challenging, Female Perversions aims to explore the career of a singular and unapologetic filmmaker whose films examine the meaning of bodies from social, political and personal angles.

Presented in partnership with Alliance Française du Manitoba. Generously sponsored by the Ambassade de France au Canada.

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