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  • A Ma Soeur! [2001] [DVD]
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A Ma Soeur! [2001] [DVD]

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A Ma Soeur! [2001] [DVD] + Romance [DVD] [1999] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Anatomy Of Hell [2004] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Anaïs Reboux, Roxanne Mesquida, Libero De Rienzo, Arsinee Khanjian, Romain Goupil
  • Directors: Catherine Breillat
  • Producers: Jean-Francois Lepetit
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Jun. 2002
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000066CWX
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,557 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

DVD Special features
Star and director filmographies
Scene selection
Tom Dawson film notes
Original theatrical trailer
World cinema trailer reel

Anamorphic Widescreen Language French
Subtitles English


Catherine Breillat's A Ma Soeur! is a touchingly honest but also highly disturbing account of two French middle-class teenage sisters' family holiday. As sexually explicit as Breillat's earlier picture, Romance, this film focuses on the travails of flabby 12-year-old Anais Pingot (Anais Reboux), who is the bane and the opposite of her glamorous elder sister Elena (Roxane Mesquida). Constantly having to live in the shadow of Elena and being nagged by her workaholic father (Romain Goupil), lonely Anais resorts to eating and her imagination for pleasure. Her 15-year-old sister, in contrast, is desperate to find romantic love. Their differences are harshly exposed when Elena starts a frantic affair with Italian law student Fernando (Libero De Rienzo). To minimise the risk of being discovered by their parents, Anais accompanies Fernando and Elena throughout their clumsy encounters. She's even present during the pair's sexual experimentation.

Anais Reboux's depiction of an introverted young woman is both shocking and true to life, particularly the scene when she swims around a swimming pool kissing and conversing with the pool's diving board and steps as if they were imaginary lovers. The film actually thrives on very little, a simple plot, a 25-minute bedroom scene, and the monotony of the fatal motorway trip home. Like violence itself, the violent ending is a particularly pointless and baffling finale for an otherwise thought-provoking film.

On the DVD: A Ma Soeur! on DVD can be viewed with or without English subtitles. The bonus material includes biographies of the leading actors and the director, a theatrical trailer and promotional images from the film. Tom Dawson's excellent notes booklet provide an informed insight into the production of the movie. The anamorphic picture is good, as is the Dolby Stereo soundtrack. --John Galilee

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pen on 31 July 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Fat Girl (aka A Ma Soeur!) is French director Catherine Breilliat's caustic version of a teen film. It's about two young teenage sisters - Elena, who is pretty and sexy, and Anais, who is fat and ignored. On holiday, Elena is seduced by a handsome young Italian scoundrel. It's a modern classic.

The key scene in Fat Girl take place after dark in the girl's bedroom. The Italian suitor gets in, and has sex with Elena, while Anais is forced to listen in the next bed. This scene plays out in real time, and mercilessly reveals the craven behaviour of supposedly 'nice' young men who are desperate to have sex. This is the flip side of American Pie and its ilk, and is uncomfortable viewing, especially as Breilliat makes us share Anais's revulsion at it all.

The next day, the girls and their mother return home, but en route there is a very violent incident awaiting them. It may be Anais's embittered fantasy, it may not, but its inclusion is crucial to the good boy/bad boy debate the film is having. This scene is censor cut in the UK version, and there is an apology for this inside the box. By contrast, the US Criterion version is uncut, has superior picture quality, and is well worh picking up.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 29 May 2005
Format: DVD
Catherine Breillat has courted controversy since she wrote her first novel at 17. She would eventually make the transition from novelist to screenwriter to film director, but there are recurring themes which crop up in her various roles. Prominent amongst these are her exploration of the sexuality of women and teenage fascination with (and angst about) virginity - both of which are central to "À Ma Soeur".
The film concerns two sisters - the slim, pretty 15 year old, the overweight, marginalised 12 year old - and their relationship with one another and with their own sexuality and virginity. The girls have been taken on a family holiday but are abandoned to one another's company. Their parents seem to avoid contact with them, other than at meal times. Father, especially, is too busy with concerns about his work to be anything other than a token, family figurehead.
Elena is expected to take responsibility for the younger Anaïs. They are of an age to grow apart, and when Elena strikes up a conversation with an Italian law student, the scene is set for the fragmentation of the sisters' relationship. Anaïs becomes effectively invisible as the experienced young man seduces Elena.
Seduction, and loss of virginity, will take place in the girls' bedroom while Anaïs is supposedly asleep. But Anaïs watches as her sister is coaxed and coerced with words of love. Breillat frequently presents the contrasting images of teenage sexuality - on the one hand, precocious, dangerous, on the other, abusive, self-destructive. Teenage (or adult) self-image, self-confidence, and self-respect are often intimately bound up in how you imagine yourself to be perceived sexually by others ... are you desirable, or spurned.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "nalatie" on 5 Feb. 2004
Format: VHS Tape
It appears that there is no defined direction to this supposedly innocent film, which from the very beginning focuses simply on two french sisters, the elder pretty and slim etc, the youngest being the plump ugly duckling. It documents the fairly typical family on their summer holiday in France, the squabbling between the two girls and their over-worked, career obsessed father and mother; who is susceptible to panic attacks. The elder sister meets an older Italian boy, who of course is only after one thing and succeeds in leading her astray, the ugly duckling has to endure their sexual antics-whilst pretending to sleep. The film seems to dwindle along, and at points seems like it may have been aimed at young teenagers.
That is until the end... Where the mother and her two daughters are left to drive home without their father, who returns to work. The three of them end up on the motorway, the panic stricken mother driving fairly recklessly in a very long, tense and at times wince inducing scene. I wont spoil the end, but I can reassure you it will not be what you expect! Many people find the ending too grotesque, but I think it is genius-in its simplicity-considering that this is the type of film not required to shock you, it certainly does!
Its one of many of my favourite french films, and I would recommend it to anyone with a vaguely dark side.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By @GeekZilla9000 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Jan. 2010
Format: DVD
Elena is a beautiful young woman who is keen to remind her younger sister Anais that she is fat and unlikely to ever get a man whereas she attracts attention wherever she goes. Proving the point - within the first five minutes of the film Elena has enticed a man into her life and she begins to play mindgames with him, little teases to test him and get information from but above all to get him to focus entirely on her and tell her that he loves her. He is far more manipulative and every word he utter is carefully chosen to get what he wants, he even manages to make her feel guilty when he claims that he may be forced to get another girl if she doesn't give him the satisfaction he desires.

Elena's new love creates more friction between between the two sisters as Anais' personal philosophy on the physical aspect of young love is in direct conflict with Elena's. Nobody seems happy in the film, the only emotions which are portrayed are either faked or misplaced, and there are glimpses of the unemotional interactions between their parents.

The relationship between the two sisters becomes more strained and there's a a strangely compelling scene in the film as the two rest their heads against each other and hold hands as they tell how much they despise each other, they conclude that "We hate each other because we're raised as rivals". Anais recalls the exact moment in their past when their once close relationship snapped and the two turned on each other.
The scene is told with good grace and humour, but it hints at a deep psychological pain which unites the 'chalk and cheese' pair.

I'd heard that there was a shocking ending to the film, and I was pretty tensed up when I watched and awaited it.
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