thanks to graphic scenes of
rape and murder, Baise-Moi has been dubbed the most controversial film of the year. It pushes the bounds of decency far enough to shock even the most desensitized viewer. And for filmgoers versed in both official languages, it adds insult to injury in the mistranslation of its title.
Posters for the flick include the words "Rape Me" underneath the French title, even though there's only one rape scene and the death and destruction are carried out by the female main characters. According to Jean-Paul Chavy, chair of Ryerson's French department, the rendering of French into English is not quite accurate.
"In old English, "baise-moi' would (be translated as) "ravage me.' In polite society it means "take me.' But literally, it means "fuck me,'" he says. ""Rape me' has a negative connotation that doesn't quite work in translation."
Joelle Medina, marketing director for Remstar, the film's distribution company, admits the error. And, as it turns out, it's intentional.
"The direct translation should be "fuck me,' but the directors decided that that wasn't a strong enough expression. They decided that "rape me' better conveyed the movie's message," she says.
"I couldn't have gotten away with spelling out "fuck' on the poster, but I could have used f-asterisk-exclamation-point-k and everybody would have known what it meant. But "rape me' is more controversial. It implies abuse, and I think it's much more vulgar than the f-word."