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The Skin I Live In (La piel que habito)

This movie is a masterpiece of the famous Spanish director, Pedro Almodóvar, who is known for his film noir. La piel que habito (The Skin I Live In) best represents dark film in many aspects. Starring Antonio Banderas and Blanca Suarez, the story unfolds after a father (Banderas) finds out that her daughter (Suarez), was raped and goes after her oppressor. Once captured, instead of killing him, he decides to use his greatest weapon: his profession. As a plastic surgeon who works out of his home, he falsifies documents that stipulate that the patient wants a sex-change. Yes, you read that correctly. This is another instance where the audience needs to ask themselves: does the punishment fit the crime? This isn’t even the most perturbing part of the film, believe it or not, but I’ll let you watch it to find out.

One thing that this film does explore is the aftermath of a rape or sexual assault. We see how Norma suffers tremendously after the incident, incapable of speaking, leading her to a far worse fate. As this was far before the Me-Too movement, it’s evident that this film was ahead of its time, exploring deeply problematic issues that society wasn’t ready to face. This film is very mature, and I wouldn’t recommend it to any students unless they’re at least in their third year of university. I also recommend watching some of Almodóvar’s lighter films, as well, because this is one of the darkest ones I’ve seen.


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