Female Filmmaker Friday: Director Coralie Fargeat's Feature Debut "Revenge" Looks to Empower Women Through Horrors

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"I'm a very big fan of movies that can be set out of every day life."

Coralie Fargeat is a French director and writer whose latest film, Revenge, tackles the horror genre in new and relevant ways.

Fargeat has directed two short films and the TV mini-series, Les Fées Cloches. But it is her feature debut, Revenge, that has people talking about Fargeat’s interpretation of the “rape-revenge” genre. Unlike most films about rape, Fargeat made it a point to have her heroine come across as, not only a survivor, but a badass.

“It basically came from the idea of the character, this pretty girl who would be seen at the beginning as being kind of weak and empty because she presents herself in a certain way, crushed by the male gaze, and would be reborn as a very strong and powerful kind of warrior. So it really came from this iconic twist of the Lolita becoming a total self-empowered girl.”

Fargeat’s feature also tackles the idea of women, like her character, Jen, who look a certain way, and therefore, by society’s standards, deserve what happens to them. But Revenge is more than getting back at the man/men who have violated Jen. It is about reclaiming the perspective as a female one, unlike most in the genre, that are created by men.

Fargeat admits she didn’t want the film to be too realistic, and focusing on the rape itself, but instead the character’s strength, power, and determination to fight against all these things that have been done to her. There is much violence, but the rape scene isn’t explicit and is mostly off camera. The focus then shifts to the character, instead of the act of violence that’s happened to her.

Be sure to watch this interview with director Coralie Fargeat and her lead actress, Matilda Anna, about making Revenge: