Movie Reviews

Review of movie Dans ma Peau

website (Director / lead player): http://marinadevan.free.fr/index2.htm

Had this film been made by anyone other than the lead player, Marina de Van, an accusation of exploitation would have been absolutely legitimate.

That de Van is the lead character and sole subject of the film inverts that critique. The result is an exquisite poem on the descent into despair of Esther; competitive career woman, that finds it's voice as she unravels into obsession and self-immolation. The rest of the characters are simple foils that de Van uses as contrasts to her ever more extreme expressions of self self-involvement. More gut churning than the most visceral "horror", I can without hesitation say this was one of the most intense cinematic experiences I have witnessed.

Self immolation - that some describe as "self harm" (a less understanding and bland descriptor for this complex emotional outlet) is something I have seen. It's not something I can connect with as a form of safety valve, but it's out there. This film confronts and attempts to deconstruct the feelings behind the act. I was convinced by it.

The visual poem is led along by the gentle jazz of Esbjörn Svensson, as Esther edges towards her finale.

As De Van's descends into isolation, occupying the fore and background, a vortex sucking down the entire emotional spectrum, she plays out a self symphony of cannibalism; the final movement, locked away alone, as she consumes slices and lumps of her own flesh, tumbling them between her fingers in silent fascination, folding them into her clothes.