Fat Girl remains a radical reflection on female sexuality and power

The Pingots are richly realised, realistically contradictory young women. Eventually, a worn-down Elena allows him to have anal sex with her. Breillat perfectly captures the prickly push-pull of sisterhood, and that unique teenage blend of naivety and filthy-mindedness. The conclusion’s extreme gendered violence lives on the same continuum as Fernando’s “seduction.” Both acts are the inevitable consequence of a misogynistic society. The final shot, a freeze-frame of Anaïs’ defiant face, offers determination not despair. Released in 2001, Fat Girl is Breillat at her brutal best. Her 1999 breakthrough Romance caused…