Twelve-year-old Anaïs is fat. Her sister, Elena, is a teenage beauty. While on vacation with their parents, Anaïs tags along with Elena as she explores the dreary seaside town. Elena meets Fernando, an Italian law student, who seduces her with promises of love, and the ever-watchful Anaïs bears witness to the corruption of her sister’s innocence. Precise and uncompromising, Catherine Breillat’s Fat Girl is a bold dissection of sibling rivalry and female adolescent sexuality from one of contemporary cinema‘s most controversial directors.
A Ma Soeur! is a provocative and shocking drama about sibling rivalry, family discord and relationships. Elena is 15, beautiful and flirtatious. Her less confident sister, Anais, is 12, and constantly eats. On holiday, Elena meets a young Italian student who is determined to seduce her. Anais is forced to watch in silence, conspiring with the lovers, but harbouring jealousy and similar desires. Their actions, however, have unforeseen tragic consequences for the whole family.
This is a film that is difficult to say you “liked.” It gives a view of the different facets of cruelty. Anais (the “Fat Girl” of the title) is buffeted with cruelty and indifference at every turn–that directed toward her and that she witnesses. Her corpulence is both an attempt to insulate herself against these assaults but at the same time, indicative of her internalization of them. But ultimately, the film is similarly an assault on the viewer, be warned. It stings.