Most people watch movies in order to enjoy them. Every so often a film comes around that is hard to enjoy, but is undeniably artistic. And I'm not saying the movie isn't good -- I'm saying you're not supposed to leave the movie with feeling satisfied, happy, or particularly having enjoyed it.
I found the relationship between the sisters to be superbly crafted. Despite their differences and constant bickering, they love each other. This is clear. The sisters meet Fernando, who proceeds to seduce 15 year old Elena with every clichéd "you have to have sex with me to prove you love me" technique imaginable. However mind-bogglingly obvious his impure intentions are, Elena falls for it hook, line, and sinker. Though it sounds rather formulaic, I found it intriguing because it really does happen this way so often.
It is interesting how the younger Anais recognizes Fernando's intentions, yet allows her sister to make her own mistakes. Inevitably, it becomes apparent to all that Fernando betrayed Elena in the worst way. The mother responds in what is a rather cold and unsympathetic manner, but in reality this is exactly how any parent would react in the situation.
This is a spoiler-filled review, so I will now tackle the ending without holding back details. I'm sure many people are reading this in order to find out the opinions of others over the shocking and violent final scenes. Most of the parallels that this form explains have already been mentioned in other comments here. Is virginity sacred? Anais and Elena would answer that differently. Nonetheless, the end result is the same for both -- their first mates betray them. Elena believed her virginity was sacred, but was easily seduced and lost it. Even though Anais has a different take on virginity, she is also betrayed, this time by a rapist. You can also ponder the moral quandary of whether or not Elena was raped by her Italian lover. She may as well have been. In fact, it seems that having her heart torn out was more emotionally traumatic than when Anais's virginity was forcibly torn away.
Of course the responsibility for the tragic ending lies solely on the maniac who commits the acts. Yet, situationally speaking every single character (both sisters, both of their parents, Fernando, Fernando's mother) is somehow responsible for putting them in that place at that time.
If you're looking for a deeper meaning in the ending, I believe there is a notable parallel between the narrative and the ending. So many people have said, "the director ran out of ideas" or "it's a gimmick" or "it's just shock value" or just think it doesn't fit the narrative. Many have expressed feelings of cinematic betrayal in the end of the film -- this betrayal mirrors the betrayal of both sisters. The director is like Fernando, seducing us for the entire film, screwing us, then abandoning us. It is so sudden, shocking, and unbecoming that we feel raped... much like the Fat Girl.
The cinematic and artistic values hold true in the ending. You just have to look for it. It is up to personal taste whether this makes for a "good movie" or not.
A Ma Soeur! is a provocative and shocking drama about sibling rivalry, family discord and relationships. Elena is 15, beautiful and flirtatious. Her less confident sister, Anais, is 12, and constantly eats. On holiday, Elena meets a young Italian student who is determined to seduce her. Anais is forced to watch in silence, conspiring with the lovers, but harbouring jealousy and similar desires. Their actions, however, have unforeseen tragic consequences for the whole family.
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