Anatomie de l'enfer

Anatomie de l'enfer aka Anatomy of Hell (Catherine Breillat, 2004)

A woman hires a homosexual to pass four nights with her and to watch her when and where no one can see her. This is the summary of this 77 minutes feature adaptation of Breillat's novel Pornocratie.

Shot like a short story, this unsettling at times disgusting film brings up the intercourses and antagonisms between men and women. While acting like the children in the flashback of childhood both characters have monologues about the differences and the antipodes of gender. While Breillat narrates the story, it is clear that her two leads are the representatives of her ideas and her conceptions of those gender.

I recently read somewhere, I think it was Marc Cassivi of La Presse, that it is almost impossible to fully adapt the graphic violence and sex of a written source into a television show or a movie. Well, in the case of Anatomie de l'enfer Breillat has crossed the boundaries and pushed them far away in the depiction of violence and pornographic images. I am fully behind the fact that censorship is a way to muzzle someone in the expression of himself. On the other hand, is it really helpful to the narrative and the storytelling of the film? In some cases maybe not but I think here and in Lars Von Trier's Antichrist for example I think that artist should be able to fully express themselves and use whatever images or ways to do it. Sure, someone will say that the line between pornography and art will become thinner and thinner but take the film Shortbus for example. I think it was a pretext to show nudity and sexual acts and call it Art. However, the plot was poor and the acting even worse. In Breillat's film, Siffredi plays a stoic character and he was probably cast because he can do nudity with his famous career in porn. Amira Casar is very good and her presence is almost hauting while being very human.

If you are to watch this film be sure to be mature and not easily disgusted by blood, erected penises, and lots of nudity.


  1. As you know, I have no problem with the subject matter or explicitness, however I was mostly bored by what Breillat had to say here, and I thought the self voiceovers were a but much.

  2. I also found out her speech to be outdated feminism and her voiceovers were egocentrical additions that didn't help the film in any way.


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