Cannes 2019- An easy girl: And Rebecca Zlotowski created… Zahia actress [critique]

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An easy girl
Julian Torres/The Velvet Films

The director of Grand Central takes a relevant look at an extraordinary character as fascinating as it is disturbing.

First free-to-air broadcast tonight for An easy girlone of the event films of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Go to France 3 at 11:30 p.m. to see this fascinating work by Rebecca Zlotowski (who moreover took part this year on the Croisette, with other filmmakers, in a discussion on the future of cinema, to see here).

One could believe in the impossible marriage of water and fire. On the one hand Rebecca Zlotowskia cerebral filmmaker, for whom words matter as much if not more than images, as she proved in Beautiful thorn, Grand Central and Planetarium. On the other, Zahia Dehar, a former escort girl thrust into the spotlight in 2010 for a sex scandal involving several football stars including Ribéry and Benzema. A plump body. A face as sculpted to excess. An extraordinary physique that leaves no one indifferent

And from this clash of apparent opposites, is born a gripping (a)moral tale, intriguing like the unvarnished portrait of our time, of femininity and the relationship to sexual emancipation at the beginning of the 21st century where one might think – wrongly – all taboos gone. Sofia – impeccably embodied by Zahia Dehar – knows she is attractive and takes advantage of this body to live the life she wants: fleeting but repeated moments of luxury in the arms and in the beds of rich men. A relationship where everyone finds his account, where there is neither hunter nor prey, neither dominant nor dominated. Consenting adults aware – and no doubt also enjoying – the ephemeral aspect of the thing.

Cannes 2019- Rebecca Zlotowski: “Zahia Dehar is this unique and fascinating mix between Kim Kardashian and Luis Bunuel”

Between And God created the woman by Vadim (Zahia Dehar’s phrasing is incredibly close to BB’s) and The Collector by Rohmer, An easy girl tells this strange freedom there, chosen but which can seem constrained because dependent on the so-called strong sex. The director becomes one with her heroine, receives through her camera both excited and contemptuous gazes on this disturbingly hypersexual physique. She is always at a good distance from her subject. Knows how to be raw and frontal without ever reducing the spectator to the rank of voyeur but by showing that what constitutes Sofia / Zahia is just as much if not more the fantasies and the a priori projected on her than the one she really is and who remains a mystery. Like a puzzle from which some pieces have disappeared as if by magic

Zahia is the heart, body and soul ofAn easy girl. Moreover, as soon as she leaves the frame or is no longer at the heart of the discussions, the film loses its power. The decision to bring this story to life through the gaze of her 16-year-old cousin’s Sofia was probably not the most relevant in this respect because it makes it branch off towards the more marked and banal register of the coming of age story. But, over the length, the film manages to resist this pitfall. Sensual, sexual, crossed by a strange melancholy, populated by amazing supporting roles (Benoît Magimel, impressive, Clotilde Courau, spicy…), he is devoured raw by his actress/inspiration.

Cannes 2019: An easy girl rewarded at the Directors’ Fortnight

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