M.F.A. (2017) by Natalia Leite

  • Year: 2017
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M.F.A. (2017)
  • m.f.a. (2017) by natalia leite: When Noelle, a timid California fine arts graduate student, is invited to a party by a handsome classmate she has a crush on, a vicious sexual assault and a blood-stained reaction will give birth to a totally different woman. But, much to Noelle's surprise, as an unexpected surge of inspiration gradually fuels her stagnant artistic expression, an insatiable thirst for revenge on all those who destroyed the lives of innocent women will begin to devour her. Who shall stand in the way of this seductive, yet pitiless vigilante? In the end, is seduction really a dying art? MFA was really well-received in its premiere at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. There is a long tradition of vigilante films dating back at least to Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. There have even been a few female vigilantes (Jodie Foster in Brave One, for example), but this seems to be the first set against the issue of campus rape culture and a woman seeking vengeance for being horribly violated. The script and the acting is Francesca Eastwood (Yes, Clint's daughter) and Leah McKendrick (who wrote the screenplay) is excellent. The script is subtle and nuanced. The use of original artwork by the Noelle who is an art student is particularly powerful. There are some aspects of this revenge fantasy that are a little unbelievable, but that doesn't really take away from the powerful story which raises an important issue that is gaining more attention (typically in documentaries like Hunting Ground). While this issue has gained a lot more attention in recent years, the conversation really needs to continue. I hope this film gains distribution, because it deserves to be more widely viewed.
  • Cast/Stars: Francesca Eastwood, Clifton Collins Jr., Leah McKendrick
  • Genre: Thriller
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