Cinémathèque Québécoise

Dans ma peau

Directed by Marina De Van



Marina de Van


Marina de Van


Marina de Van, Laurent Lucas, Léa Drucker

France 2002 93 mins OV French Subtitles : English
Genre DramaHorror

“Harrowing… as unrelenting an exploration of isolation and dissociation as Roman Polanski's REPULSION''

“A mesmerising performance”

20th Anniversary Screening

Marina de Van’s IN MY SKIN came at the height of the new wave of confrontational French horror that came to be called the “New French Extremity”, and like Claire Denis’ bloody TROUBLE EVERY DAY from the previous year, involves a female cannibal—of sorts.

Lanky, beautifully aloof François Ozon regular Marina de Van stars in her directing debut as the upwardly mobile marketing assistant who accidentally cuts her leg open while stumbling through the backyard at a business party. She walks into a series of obstacles in the dark yard, but, feeling no sensation of pain, thinks she’s only ripped her trousers—until she notices the trail of blood staining the carpet behind her. She takes to probing the wound, digging into her stitches in dark corners at work, in the bathroom, in restaurants. After an initial period of bodily disorientation, she falls in love with her own skin—and wants to see what lies beneath.

Like many cinematic chronicles of female neurosis, de Van’s surprisingly transcendent take on auto-cannibalism and gory self-discovery shows a woman divided. On the surface she’s ambitious and collected, but an unexpected accident leads her to literally cut herself open. “It is through my body that I am in the world, that I am connected with others”, de Van related in a press statement. “If I am no longer my body, what am I? Where does this desire come from to want to see what the body is, and if I am ‘inside’?” – Kier-La Janisse