Controversial French film to be shown

'Rape Me' avoids X, will open June 28 in Gallic theaters

PARIS — French cinemas will show the uncut version of “Rape Me,” a violent and sexually explicit first film by author Virginie Despentes, following the French film censorship board’s decision not to give it an X rating.

Despentes, a writer with cult status among French youth, adapted the pan Europe film from a bestselling book and co-directed it with porn actress Coralie Trinh-Thi. The film’s two female leads are also porn actresses.

The Cannes screening of “Rape Me” drew wide-eyed interest from distributors, and Wild Bunch, the Studio Canal film unit handling worldwide sales, went on to sell the film to 35 territories.

Applauding the rating

In Europe these include Italy and Spain, while negotiations are under way with distributors in Germany and the U.K. Prints are also being viewed in the U.S., Wild Bunch head Vincent Maraval said Wednesday, as he welcomed the French censors’ decision.

“It shows that France is a civilized country. The censors realize the film is good, that it represents a certain subculture in France and its aim isn’t to excite people like a porn film.”

The “not for under 16” classification could prove helpful to distributors in other countries, Maraval said.

The film will be released June 28 in France on about 50 screens.

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