Feminist, anti-racist and terribly arrogant and determined – An interview with Renée Beaulieu

Zum Heimkinostart von “Lust auf unserer Haut” durfte ich die Regisseurin Renée Beaulieu zum Interview bitten.


„Lust auf unserer Haut“ ist ein provokativer Film über die weibliche Sexualität – aus der Perspektive einer Frau. Im Film geht es um die Dermatologin Marie-Claire. Sie ist fasziniert von der gewagten These ihrer jungen Doktorandin, die beweisen will, dass sich Hautzellen durch Sex verändern.


Begeistert stellt Marie-Claire sich selbst als Probandin zur Verfügung. Unkompliziert und freimütig erlebt sie mit verschiedenen Männern erotische Abenteuer und beweist, dass Liebe und Lust nicht unbedingt voneinander abhängig sind. Das Experiment wird jedoch zur Nebensache, als ein Skandal, in den Marie-Claire und einer ihrer Lover verwickelt sind, das prekäre Gleichgewicht ihrer „offenen“ Ehe bedroht. 


Wir haben uns entschlossen das Interview in englischer Sprache zu belassen um die Fragen und Antworten nicht zu verfälschen. Viel Spaß beim Lesen!


Quelle: Presseaussendung AtlasFilm

What motivated you to become a producer/director?

First I’m screenwriter after a director and after a producer. I love to create my world and I don’t like someone else realize my world so I shoote my scenario and then is so complicated and slow to be going in production I decided to produce my own films… More specifically, I think time and intensity were important to my decision to becoming a filmmaker. At a very young age I had a keen awareness of the passing of time, the mysteries of human experience and I was emotionally hypersensitive. With this baggage, if not this burden, writing and subsequently cinema became a way of life that allows me to search for answers to the mysteries of life, to manage my emotions, to better understand them by putting them on the stage and finally take the time. Indeed, a film is a still image, a human experience, lingering with intensity for 90 minutes is a way to stretch the time, extend, improve, explore.


The number of female producers in the film industry is still lower than the number of male producers. What do you think are the reasons for that and what can be done about it?

While doing my doctoral thesis I studied the representations of men and women in popular cinema and the under-representation of women really struck me, as well as. Our culture is a men’ culture. Men a women are stigmatized in theirs roles: men think they are on top of the world and women are at theirs services… Women have tried hard for long time to change it… but it’s not yet in a perfect equity. What can we do? Me, I did a movie. To respond to the false representation of women, to rectify the presentation of women from my own point of view and try to overcome this inequity, I made a film that reverses the stereotypes of women’s representation.


As for sexuality, it comes from the fact that it is the main role women have in cinema, the role of sexual object, I wanted to make them a subject, subject of their own sexuality.

Female sexuality and female pleasure are still big taboos in today’s society. Do see yourself as taboo breaker? How do people react to the fact that you are a female producer thematising female pleasure as key theme in your movie?

Yes my movie is a taboo breaker, but I know some people watch the film like a sexual movie, not like a feminist movie, so in this time the taboo breaker couldn’t work because they just don’t understand I’m talking about what… I talk about women who love sex, sex with men but for herself not to give pleasure for men, or to revenge, or because they are a sexual victim… !!!
Is there a man that could have done my movie? I don’t think so, especially in this «metoo» time. So people are not surprised that I’m a woman… I heard often: you’re courageous…

When female sexuality features in movies, it is often limited to the male perspective. Why did you decide to do differently?

Because I think we (women) exist, we have sexuality, we have perspective, we want power, we want to express ourselves and it’s a right not a privilege. Also because there are few movies dealing with this issue.


Female desire is poorly understood and rarely displayed in movies. It is difficult to present a woman as normal when she has sexual desires for other men than her husband, and with the sole intent to enjoy herself.


A woman like Marie-Claire, that pursue their own pleasure, are often slutshamed,
stigmatized or even perceived as dangerous. Why is that? And why don’t see more
characters like her in other movies?

I think it’s dangerous to talk about «the expectations of women», because we are not supposed to push our own ideas, to be quiet, nodding, smiling, sexy and pleasing for others… If you’re different like Marie-Claire for example, so different from that stereotype that you are a threat to the power of men… and we are still in a men’s world. We (I) don’t want to see that because the thing changes a lot but not enough to assert that we are in an equal world and the cultural production can help to keep in place this kind of share of power when it’s showing strong men and beautiful and serving women in usual second role. Standard.

Would you consider “The Natural Want on Pleasure of the Skin” a feminist movie?

Totally. I make a movie presenting women in an unusual way and tackle a poorly-understood topic. Totally. A woman in a leading role. Totally. A 45-year-old professional woman that is financially independent and emancipated and who loves sex. Totally. A woman who is not a victim. Not a victim of sexuality!!!

I’m feminist. I’m convinced that we are all just all humans and that from this point of view we are all equal in the sense that we have the duty to share power and wealth, the same human rights and the access to pleasure …


As long as there are people that believe that some humans by their gender, race, religion, sexual identities, sexual orientation are above the others and are entitled to other rights, more power and more pleasure, I will be feminist, anti-racist and terribly arrogant and determined…

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