Raw (film)

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Raw (film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Julia Ducournau
Produced by Jean de Forêts
Written by Julia Ducournau
Music by Jim Williams
Cinematography Ruben Impens
Edited by Jean-Christophe Bouzy
  • Petit Film
  • Rouge International
  • Frakas Productions
  • Ezekiel Film Production
  • Wild Bunch
Distributed by
Release date
  • 14 May 2016 (2016-05-14) (Cannes)[2]
  • 15 March 2017 (2017-03-15) (Belgium)
  • 15 March 2017 (2017-03-15) (France)[3]
Running time
99 minutes[3]
  • France
  • Belgium
Language French
  • 3.48 million[4]
  • ($3.8 million)
Box office $3.33 million[5]

Raw (French: Grave) is a 2016 French-Belgian horror drama film written and directed by Julia Ducournau, and starring Garance Marillier.[6][7][8][9] The plot follows a young vegetarian's first year at veterinary school when she tastes meat for the first time and develops a craving for flesh.

The film premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on 14 May 2016 and was theatrically released in the United States on 10 March 2017 by Focus World, and in France on 15 March 2017 by Wild Bunch. The film received critical acclaim, with praise for Ducournau's direction and screenplay, though was met with some controversy for its graphic content.


Lifelong vegetarian Justine begins her first semester at veterinary school, the same one her older sister Alexia is currently attending and where her parents met. Her first night, she meets her roommate Adrien, and is forced to partake in a hazing ritual, welcoming the new students. They are brought to a party, where Justine feels uncomfortable until she runs into Alexia. Alexia shows Justine old class photos of students bathed in blood, including one with their parents. The next morning, the new class is splattered with blood and are forced to eat raw rabbit's kidneys. Justine refuses, saying she is a vegetarian. Alexia encourages Justine to eat it by telling her she will like it. Justine still refuses. Alexia then takes two and eats them both which convinces Justine and reluctantly eats one as well. As she walks out with Adrien, she then publicly gags. Later that night, she discovers a strong, itchy rash all over her body. She goes to the doctor, who diagnoses her with food poisoning and gives her a cream for the rash.

The next day, Justine begins having cravings for meat, which makes her ashamed of herself. She and Adrien take a late-night trip to a gas station so no one will see her eating meat. Unsatisfied, she eats raw chicken in the morning, and later throws up a long bundle of hair. That night, she finds the same cream in Alexia's cabinet that the doctor gave Justine. Alexia gives her a bikini wax; when she tries to cut the wax off with sharp scissors, Justine kicks her away and Alexia accidentally cuts off her own finger. Alexia faints. Justine picks up the finger and tastes it. Justine ends up liking it and eats the finger.

The next morning, Alexia takes Justine to a deserted road, where she jumps in front of a car, which crashes into a tree. Alexia starts eating one of the passengers as Justine tries to stop her. Despite this, Justine's craving for human meat grows and she starts lusting after Adrien. That night, she arrives at a party, where paint is thrown at her as part of another hazing ritual and she is forced to kiss a boy, during which she accidentally bites his lip off. After what happened in the paint party, Justine goes to her dorm and takes a shower one of her teeth falls out and she eats it. Justine confides in Adrien and they end up having sex, during which Justine tries to bite Adrien several times, finally biting her own arm as she climaxes.

Justine gets extremely intoxicated at a party and Alexia takes her to the morgue. The next morning, everyone in school stares at Justine, some avoiding her. Adrien shows her a video of a drunken Justine crawling like an animal, trying to take bites out of the arm of a corpse, which Alexia pulls out of reach with and other party guests mad watching. Justine gets angry by what she sees from Alexia and attacks her and the two fight. Alexia bites part of Justine's face off and they bite each other's arms, finally taking comfort in eating one another only to be pulled apart by two other students Justine hits one of them with a backpack and help Alexia up as they walk each other back to their dorms. That night, Justine sleeps with Adrien in his bed. The next morning, Justine wakes up and touches Adrien still asleep. Justine then sees blood on her hand. She removes the blankets and finds Adrien dead with most of his right leg eaten away. Devastated, Justine tries to wake him but instead blood spills from his mouth. She finds a stabbed hole in his back and sees a bloody and mostly catatonic Alexia slumped in the kitchen revealing that she was the one who murdered Adrien. Justine, furious by what Alexia has done, picks up the sharp staff Alexia killed Adrien with walks up to Alexia and attempts to kill her. She then puts it down and decides not to kill Alexia and simply cleans her up in the shower.

Alexia is put into prison, where Justine and her parents visit her and take her back home. Despite everything, the two sisters appear to be on good terms. At home Justine's father tells her that what happened is neither her fault nor Alexia's and explains that when he first met Justine's mother, he couldn't understand why she didn't want to be with him until the first time they kissed. He then opens his shirt to show scars and chunks of his dry chest and tells Justine that she will find a solution.



Raw was screened in the International Critics' Week section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival where it won the FIPRESCI Prize.[2][10]

During a screening at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, some viewers received emergency medical services after allegedly fainting from the film's graphic scenes.[11][12] Ducournau said she was "shocked" to hear this during a Q&A after the screening.

The film had a limited theatrical release in the United States by Focus World starting on 10 March 2017.[13]


Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports a 91% approval score based on 145 reviews and an average rating of 7.8/10. The site's consensus states: "Raw's lurid violence and sexuality live up to its title, but they're anchored with an immersive atmosphere and deep symbolism that linger long after the provocative visuals fade."[14] On Metacritic, it has an 81 out of 100 rating based on 33 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[15]

Catherine Bray of Variety wrote, "Suspiria meets Ginger Snaps in a muscular yet elegant campus cannibal horror from bright new talent Julia Ducournau."[16] Katie Rife of The A.V. Club gave the film an A− grade, stating, "The strongest of the female-led films I've screened so far at the festival is Raw, Julia Ducournau's beautifully realized, symbolically rich, and disturbingly erotic meditation on primal hungers of all kinds."[17]

David Fear of Rolling Stone praised the film highly, giving it a rare perfect score of 4 out of 4 stars; going so far as calling it "a contender for best horror movie of the decade".[18]

Nick Pinkerton of Sight & Sound gave a rather lukewarm review of the movie, labeling it "another unwieldy metaphor bundled in showy cinematography", citing the movie's "curatorial preciousness" as well as an over-all insistence on contrived set pieces.[19]

In December 2017, film critic Mark Kermode named Raw the best film of 2017.[20]


See also


  1. ^ Kate Erbland (8 July 2016). "Film Acquisition Rundown: Zeitgeist Films Buys 'Don't Call Me Son,' Focus World Hungry For 'Raw' And More". IndieWire. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Grave". Semaine de la Critique. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Raw (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 4 October 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  4. ^ Lemercier, Fabien (19 April 2016). "Julia Ducournau's Raw to fight for France in the Critics' Week". Cineuropa. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  5. ^ "Raw (2017) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  6. ^ "Shoot about to kick off for Julia Ducournau's Raw". Cineuropa. 
  7. ^ Debruge, Peter (3 January 2017). "10 Directors to Watch: Julia Ducournau Reveals 'Raw' Side of French Cinema". Variety. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  8. ^ Brown, Todd (12 January 2017). "RAW: Watch The Hypnotic And Grotesque Red Band Trailer For Julia Ducournau's Acclaimed Debut". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  9. ^ "Red Band Trailer Revealed For Julia Ducournau's Directorial Debut RAW". Horror Cult Films. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  10. ^ Rebecca Ford (21 May 2016). "Cannes: 'Toni Erdmann,' 'Dogs' Take Fipresci Prizes". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  11. ^ Tatiana Siegel (13 September 2016). "Toronto: Multiple Moviegoers Pass Out During Cannibal Movie 'Raw' Screening". www.msn.com. The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
  12. ^ Adam Gabbatt (14 September 2016). "Cannibal horror film too Raw for viewers as paramedics are called". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  13. ^ "Raw Red Band and Green Band Trailers are Here!". 12 January 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  14. ^ "Raw (Grave) (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  15. ^ "Raw reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  16. ^ "Film Review: 'Raw'". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. 14 May 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2017. 
  17. ^ "Jason Momoa and Keanu Reeves rule the wasteland at Fantastic Fest". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved 19 February 2017. 
  18. ^ https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/reviews/raw-movie-review-its-a-modern-horror-masterpiece-w470613
  19. ^ Pinkerton, Nick (May 2017). "Raw". Sight & Sound. British Film Institute. 27 (5): 88–89. ISSN 0037-4806. 
  20. ^ Kermode, Mark (10 December 2017). "Mark Kermode: best films of 2017". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  21. ^ "Maren Ade's "Toni Erdmann" Wins the Critics Prize in Cannes" (Press release). FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. 22 May 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  22. ^ "Toronto International Film Festival Announces 2016 Award Winners" (PDF) (Press release). Toronto International Film Festival. 18 September 2016. The second runner up is Julia Ducournau’s Raw. 
  23. ^ "60th BFI London Film Festival announces 2016 awards winners" (Press release). BFI. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  24. ^ Belga (February 3, 2018). "Cérémonie des Magritte: Carton plein pour "Insyriated", élu meilleur film, qui remporte 6 distinctions". La Libre Belgique (in French). Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  25. ^ "The 2018 AFCA Awards". Australian Film Critics Association. Archived from the original on March 14, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018. 

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