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Fat Girl

Fat Girl
Directed by Catherine Breillat
Produced by Jean-François Lepetit
Written by Catherine Breillat
Starring Anaïs Reboux
Roxane Mesquida
Libero De Rienzo
Arsinée Khanjian
Music by Pierluigi Balducci and Franco Quatela (Tavernanova)
Cinematography Yorgos Arvanitis, A.F.C.
Edited by Pascale Chavance
Distributed by Canal+
Release dates
March 7, 2001 (2001-03-07)
Running time
86 minutes
Country France
Language French

À ma sœur! is a 2001 French film directed by Catherine Breillat and starring Roxane Mesquida. It was released in some English speaking countries under the alternative titles For My Sister or Fat Girl.

Breillat's experience shooting the film inspired her 2002 film Sex Is Comedy, which revolves around shooting a sex scene from the film. Mesquida reprised the scene for the later movie.


  • Plot 1
  • Controversy 2
  • Awards 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Anaïs (Anaïs Reboux) and her older sister, Elena (Roxane Mesquida) are vacationing with their parents on the French seaside. Bored of staying in their vacation home, the two walk into town while discussing relationships and their virginity. Although the highly attractive Elena has been promiscuous, she is saving herself for someone who loves her, while heavy-set, overweight Anaïs thinks it is better to lose one's virginity to a "nobody" just to get it over with.

They meet an Italian law student, Fernando (Libero De Rienzo), at a cafe. While Elena flirts with him, Anaïs orders a banana split. Later, Fernando sneaks into the girls' bedroom for a liaison with Elena. Anaïs is awake and watches their entire interaction. After a conversation about Fernando's previous relationships with other women, Elena consents to have sex with him, but backs out at the last minute. Frustrated, Fernando pressures her through various means, including threatening to sleep with some other woman just to alleviate himself. Finally, Elena is coerced into anal sex as a "proof of love", although it is obviously a painful experience for her.

In the morning, Fernando asks for oral sex from Elena before he leaves, but Anaïs has had enough and tells them to let her sleep in peace. The next day, the girls and Fernando go to the beach. Anaïs sits in the ocean in her new dress and sings to herself while Elena and Fernando go off alone together. Later, as the girls are reminiscing about their childhood together back at the house, Elena reveals that Fernando has given her a mauve opal engagement ring while at the beach. That night, Elena gives up her virginity to Fernando as Anaïs silently cries on the other side of the room.

Later, Fernando's mother arrives at the house that Anaïs and her family are renting, asking for the girl's mother to return the mauve opal ring. Their mother discovers Elena's and Fernando's relationship, and angrily decides to drive back to Paris. On the way back she becomes tired and decides to sleep at a rest stop, where an axe murderer arrives, killing Elena with an axe and strangling her mother. He takes Anaïs into the woods and rapes her. When the police arrive the next morning, Anaïs insists he did not rape her, and the credits roll.


The film was banned in Ontario by the Ontario Film Review Board in the fall of 2001 because the board objected to the film's representation of teenage sexuality. American film critic Wheeler Winston Dixon noted that the film was not only banned in Ontario, but was "severely restricted to adult audiences throughout the world".[1] Dixon described the film as a "harrowing tale of a 13-year-old girl's coming of age as her 15-year-old sister embarks on a series of sexual relationships", featuring "explicit sexual scenes" in a "brutal narrative structure."[1] The ban in Canada was eventually overturned and the film played in several theatres in 2003.


In 2001 the film won the Manfred Salzgeber Award at the Berlin International Film Festival and the France Culture Award at the Cannes festival.


  1. ^ a b Wheeler Winston Dixon, 2003, Wallflower Press, London and New York, Visions of the Apocalypse: Spectacles of Destruction in American Cinema, Retrieved November 28, 2014, ISBN 1-903364-74-4 (paperback) ISBN 1-903364-38-8 (hardcover), see page 112, lines 5-10

External links

  • Fat Girl at the Internet Movie Database
  • Fat Girl at AllMovie
  • Criterion Collection essay by Ginette Vincendeau
  • : About the Title by Catherine BreillatFat Girl
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