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
Starring Garance Marillier
Music by Jim Williams
Cinematography Ruben Impens
Edited by Jean-Christophe Bouzy
  • Frakas Productions
  • Petit Film
  • Rouge International
Distributed by
Release date
  • 14 May 2016 (2016-05-14) (Cannes)[2]
  • 10 March 2017 (2017-03-10) (United States)
  • 15 March 2017 (2017-03-15) (France)[3]
Running time
99 minutes[3]
  • France
  • Belgium
Language French
  • 3.5 million
  • ($3.8 million)
Box office $508,425 (U.S. only) as of 1 May 2017[4]

Raw (French: Grave) is a 2016 French-Belgian film written and directed by Julia Ducournau,[5][6][7][8] and starring Garance Marillier. The film premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and was released in France on 15 March 2017 to critical acclaim.


Lifelong vegetarian Justine arrives at a veterinary school to start college. During the first night, she meets her gay 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 and meets her sister Alexia, who shows Justine old class photos, including one with their parents. The next morning, the new class is splattered with blood and are told to eat raw rabbit kidney. Justine refuses, saying she is a vegetarian but Alexia forces her to eat it, thus she reluctantly consumes the kidney. Later that night, Justine discovers a strong, itchy rash all over her body. She goes to the doctor the next day, who diagnoses her with food poisoning and gives her a cream for the rash.

The next day, Justine drives to a gas station with Adrien for a midnight snack. On their way there, Justine observes a car crash. That night, she eats raw chicken. After she talks with her teacher about cheating, Justine throws up a bundle of hair she ate. That night, she drinks with Alexia and asks if she can sleep at her place. She finds the same cream in Alexia's cabinet that the doctor gave Justine. Alexia gives her a Brazilian wax, during which some of the wax gets stuck on Justine's skin and Alexia proceeds to cut off with sharp scissors. Justine slaps her away and Alexia accidentally cuts her own finger off and faints. Justine immediately calls the ambulance. As she waits, she is overwhelmed with her craving for meat, and eats it as Alexia wakes up in shock. At the hospital she tries to throw it up but fails. They blame it on Quicky, Alexia's dog, who is put down.

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. She walks back to school alone. Despite this, Justine's craving for human meat grows and she starts lusting after Adrien. She finds Alexia playing video games with him and gets jealous. That night, Justine has a nightmare where something attacks her in her sleep. Once she recovers, she arrives at a party, where she is forced to kiss a boy, during which she bites part of his lip off. 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. They fight the next day.

Justine gets extremely intoxicated at a party, when she meets Alexia who takes her to the morgue. The next morning, everyone in the school stares at Justine, some avoiding her. After a lecture, Adrien shows her a video of Alexia taunting her with a dead body, which she lusts after like an animal. Justine confronts Alexia and they fight. Alexia bites part of Justine's face off and they both bite each other's arms. Later, Alexia bandages Justine's wound. The morning after, the hazing week ends and Justine awakens to find Adrien dead in his bed, with most of his right leg eaten away. She thinks she killed him in her sleep at first but finds a bloody ski pole on the floor next to the bed and a stab wound in his back. She gets out of the bed to find a bloody and mostly catatonic Alexia slumped in the kitchen holding a video game controller. Justine takes Alexia to the shower to get her cleaned up.

The film ends with Alexia in some kind of unspecified confinement and their father revealing to Justine that their mother also had cannibalistic urges in college when they met. He reveals to her his chest with pieces of flesh missing, saying that they found a solution and that she will find a way too.



Raw was screened in the International Critics' Week section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival where it won the FIPRESCI Prize.[2][9]

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.[10][11] 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.[12]


Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an 91% approval score based on 128 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."[13] On Metacritic, it has an 81 out of 100 rating based on 33 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[14]

Catherine Bray of Variety wrote, "Suspiria meets Ginger Snaps in a muscular yet elegant campus cannibal horror from bright new talent Julia Ducournau."[15] 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."[16]

Nick Pinkerton of Sight & Sound gave a rather lukewarm review of the movie, labelling 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.[17]


See also[edit]


  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. 
  3. ^ a b "Raw (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 4 October 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "Raw (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 1 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Shoot about to kick off for Julia Ducournau’s Raw". Cineuropa. 
  6. ^ Debruge, Peter (3 January 2017). "10 Directors to Watch: Julia Ducournau Reveals ‘Raw’ Side of French Cinema". Variety. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "Red Band Trailer Revealed For Julia Ducournau’s Directorial Debut RAW". Horror Cult Films. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  9. ^ Rebecca Ford (21 May 2016). "Cannes: 'Toni Erdmann,' 'Dogs' Take Fipresci Prizes". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  10. ^ Tatiana Siegel (13 September 2016). "Toronto: Multiple Moviegoers Pass Out During Cannibal Movie 'Raw' Screening". www.msn.com. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
  11. ^ Adam Gabbatt (14 September 2016). "Cannibal horror film too Raw for viewers as paramedics are called". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  12. ^ "Raw Red Band and Green Band Trailers are Here!". 12 January 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  13. ^ "Raw (Grave) (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  14. ^ "Raw reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  15. ^ "Film Review: ‘Raw’". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. 14 May 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2017. 
  16. ^ "Jason Momoa and Keanu Reeves rule the wasteland at Fantastic Fest". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved 19 February 2017. 
  17. ^ Pinkerton, Nick (May 2017). "Raw". Sight & Sound. British Film Institute. 27 (5): 88–89. ISSN 0037-4806. 
  18. ^ "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. 
  19. ^ "60th BFI London Film Festival announces 2016 awards winners" (Press release). BFI. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 

External links[edit]