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Film / Anatomy of Hell

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Anatomy of Hell (Anatomie de l'enfer) is a 2004 French arthouse film directed by Catherine Breillat, based on her novel Pornocratie. It's Euroshlock at its finest.

After a gratuitous scene of unsimulated homosexual fellatio, we cut to a woman identified only as "The Woman" (played by Amira Casar) moping around a gay nightclub, going into the bathroom and slitting her wrists. A gay man, likewise identified only as "The Man", played by Italian porn star Rocco Siffredi catches her. When he asks her why she did it, she replies "because I'm a woman."

The Man takes The Woman to have her wounds bound. They take a walk, during which The Woman goes down on The Man and claims that all men hate women. She invites him to visit her at her house for the next four nights to prove this hypothesis. He agrees. The next night he comes, and she strips, lies on the bed and displays herself to him, to prove the revulsion that men have for the female form. Cue the baffling philosophical narration and buckets of squick. The two then have sex. The Man then goes down to the bar and grumbles a bit to another patron, then comes back up and pushes The Woman off a cliff. Scene.


This film provides examples of:

  • Agitated Item Stomping: As a child, The Man takes a baby bird from its nest, but it dies in his pocket. He throws the corpse to the ground and stomps on it. He turns out gay because vaginas look like baby birds.
  • Author Avatar: The Woman
  • Contemplate Our Navels
  • Clueless Aesop: Apparently the moral of the story is that all men hate women, and that male homosexuality is an expression of this hate.
  • Depraved Homosexual: See above; The Man murders The Woman in the end.
  • Dull Surprise: The Woman has a total non-reaction to The Man lodging a rake in her nethers.
  • Euroshlock
  • The Everyman: The Man and The Woman are intended as such.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The characters are only named for their characteristics (The Man, The Woman, Blow-job Lovers 1 and 2, etc)
  • Fan Disservice
  • Advertisement:
  • Fauxlosophic Narration: Somewhat unique in that it isn't a narration but actually spoken by the characters.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: The Man.
  • It's Not Porn, It's Art
  • Nameless Narrative: Neither character is named.
  • Nipple and Dimed: On at least the French and Australian posters/DVD box covers of the film; The Woman was shown with bare breasts (this is actually a screenshot from the film). On the American and British ones; a nightgown was digitally added (see the page image).
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. A prominent scene involves the Woman removing her tampon and showing it to the Man, then drinking water tainted with its blood.
  • Straw Misogynist: The Man. It's very easy for the film to hold him as an example for men's supposed disgust for women's bodies when he is, you know, gay and therefore wouldn't be attracted to her as a result.
  • Women's Mysteries: A key aspect of the film's premise.
  • Word Salad Title