The Nuart Theater in Los Angeles handed out “custom-made” barf bags to attendees at screenings of “Raw,” French filmmaker Julia Ducournau’s tasty art horror about a teenage vegetarian’s newfound obsession with meat that turns cannibalistic.
Girding themselves for another potential fainting incident like the one that called an ambulance to a Midnight screening during the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, theater employees apparently decided it was better to be safe than sorry. “One of the staff at the Nuart took up the initiative to make the barf bags out of paper lunch bags. What a fun idea!” Mark Valen, a Nuart programmer, told The Hollywood Reporter. “I remember that used to be done with some horror releases in the 1970s.”
More than just a cannibal film, “Raw” uses the flesh-eating trope to explore the burgeoning desires of its young protagonist, Justine (Garance Marillier). Newly arrived at veterinarian school, Justine develops an unusual taste for human meat after she is forced to eat rabbit kidney during a hazing ritual. Taking inspiration from the films of David Cronenberg, Ducournau expertly uses the art body horror genre to tell a female coming-of-age story like no other.
At a recent screening at the Angelika Theater in New York, Ducournau expressed dismay that the fainting incident was driving so much of the conversation surrounding the film.