Rethinking Pornography within the Context of the New French Extremity: The Case of Baise-Moi


  • Sirin Fulya Erensoy



Gender, sexuality, censorship, screen violence, pornography


Baise-Moi(Despentes and Trinh Thi, 2000) is the story of two women who, marginalized by society, go on a destructive rampage where they ‘fuck’ and kill men. This study will discuss the anxieties the film has unearthed in relation to the alternative depiction of culturally accepted sexual roles and legitimate applications of violent acts, through its subversion of the generic expectations of pornography. Furthermore, it will be argued that the film, despite being progressive in form, challenging classical narrative structures and playing with generic tropes, is inherently a pessimistic film, because of its conservative ending that reaffirms the status quo.


Austin, G. (2015). Contemporary French Horror Cinema: From Absence to Embodied Presence. In A. Fox, M. Marie, R. Moine & H. Radner (Eds.), A Companion to Contemporary French Cinema, (pp. 275-288). West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Bélot, S. (2004). Baise-Moi: from a Political to a Social Female Friendship Film. Studies in European Cinema, 1(1), 7-17.

Bélot, S. (2019). Authenticity in A Real Young Girl (Catherine Breillat, 1976). Film Studies, 20(1), 21-35.

Beugnet, M. (2004). French Cinema of the Margins. In E. Ezra (Ed.), European Cinema, (pp. 283-298). New York: Oxford University Press.

Beugnet, M. (2007). Cinema and Sensation: French Film and the Art of Transgression. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Billson, A. (2019) Does the 'female gaze' make sexual violence on film any less repugnant?. The Guardian. 2 August.

Frey, M. (2016). The Transgressive Rhetoric of Today’s Art Film Culture. NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Huntley, R. (1998). Slippery When Wet: The Shifting Boundaries of the Pornographic (a class analysis). Continuum, 12 (1), 69-81.

Lim, D. (2006). “Greetings From the Land of Feel-Bad Cinema”. The New York Times, 26 November 2006. Retrieved from:

Quandt, J. (2004). Flesh & blood: sex and violence in recent french cinema. Artforum, 42(6), 126-132.

Palmer, T. (2007) Under Your Skin: Marina de Van and the Contemporary French Cinéma du Corps, Studies in French Cinema, 6:3, 171-181.

Rose, S. (2011). “Attenberg, Dogtooth and the Weird Wave of Greek Cinema”. The Guardian, 27 August 2011. Retrived from: cinema

Sawicki, J., (1998) Feminism, Foucault and “Subjects” of Power and Freedom in J. Moss (ed.), The Later Foucault: politics and philosophy .London; Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Straayer, C. (1993). Lesbian Narratives and Queer Characters in Monika Treut's Virgin Machine. Journal of Film and Video, 24-39.

Varmazi, E. (2019). The Weirdness of Contemporary Greek Cinema. Film International, 47, 40-49.

Vicendeau, G. (2002). “Baise-Moi”. Sight & Sound, May 2002. Retrieved from:

Williams, L. (1989). Hard Core: Power, Pleasure and the “Frenzy of the Visible”. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press.

Wimmer, L. (2011). Sex and Violence from a Pair of Furies: The Scandal of Baise-Moi. In T. Horeck & T. Kendall (Eds.), The New Extremism in Cinema: From France to Europe, (pp.130-141). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.




How to Cite

Erensoy, S. F. (2020). Rethinking Pornography within the Context of the New French Extremity: The Case of Baise-Moi. CINEJ Cinema Journal, 8(1), 60–86.