“Human things”, directed by Yvan Attal, is released in theaters on December 1st. Inspired by Karine Tuil’s novel, the film intelligently deconstructs the way the culture of rape is eating away at our society. We explain how in Pop it, our pop culture decryption of the week.
In Human things, Alexandre, played by Ben Attal, returns from the United States where he studies to visit his recently separated parents, played by Pierre Arditi and Charlotte Gainsbourg. He then meets the daughter of his mother’s new companion, Mila, played by Suzanne Jouannet. They spend the evening together with friends of Alexander. The next day, Alexandre is arrested because Mila has filed a complaint against him for rape. Through the eyes of the complainant, but also of the accused, Human things tackles an increasingly deconstructed societal subject, which is struggling to be accepted: the culture of rape, this sociological concept which explains how, sometimes, sexual violence is minimized or even trivialized. This is also why approaching a story of an accusation of rape while also revealing the point of view of the accused makes perfect sense.
“Human things”: two different social backgrounds
The film unveils a remarkable young actress in her first role, Suzanne Jouannet. By playing Mila, a young girl from a modest background facing Alexander, played by Ben Attal, a young boy from a privileged background, the actress brings another perspective on society. Indeed, the two characters come from totally different social backgrounds. Each has an opposite vision on the relationships of seduction and domination existing between men and women. Two educations but also two cultures confront each other. All this without counting the duo of revelations formed by Ben Attal and Suzanne Jouannet.
Read also : We explain everything about the culture of rape, a real scourge in cinema
The trivialization of violence against women
In Human things therefore, two educations are opposed. We then face a trivialization of violence on the one hand and the certainty of the absence of consent on the other. Here, the accused and the complainant have a totally different perception of sexuality and consent. This is all the ambivalence and intelligence of Yvan Attal’s film. This editing work and these two perceptions allow a better understanding of the mechanics of domination so that, in the face of the trial, the spectators themselves are jurors.
Alexandre, played by Ben Attal, the “guy next door”
This trial helps to shatter stereotypes about sexual violence and accusations of rape. The fact of seeing a young man seemingly so respectable, sympathetic and without history evolve in this trial proves that patriarchy and the culture of rape are everywhere. We see Alexander’s relationship with his former conquests, sometimes insistent, but never considered problematic in the eyes of the women he has known … Except Mila, deeply traumatized by what she has lived. Human things is also a reminder since 90% of rape victims know their attackers. This look carried by Alexandre thus makes it possible to deconstruct the myth of rape which consists in making believe that such attacks take place only in parking lots and inflicted by a stranger.
Human things, directed by Yvan Attal, with Ben Attal, Suzanne Jouannet, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Mathieu Kassovitz, Pierre Arditi, Audrey Dana, Benjamin Lavernhe and Judith Chemla is released in theaters this Wednesday, December 1, 2021.
Article produced in partnership with Gaumont.
Mélanie deciphers pop culture from a societal angle and questions the female gaze in films or even series, because everything is a question of gaze, she …