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Viewers faint during screening of French cannibal movie Raw

Julia Ducournau Garance Marillier Raw

There seems to be something about film festival attendees that makes them prone to fainting during horror movies. This is an occurrence you hear about with some frequency, although in some venues - like Sundance - you can speculate that the cause is really a mixture of alcohol and altitude. But in Toronto...

The latest genre film to have audience members falling over in the aisles is writer/director Julia Ducournau's feature debut RAW, a cannibal tale out of France. RAW stars Garance Marillier as 

the teenaged Justine, who commences her studies at veterinary school to follow in her family members’ footsteps. Raised as a vegetarian, Justine is pressured at school to try meat for the first time. Once she does, she plumbs both the depths of her own soul and tests the limits of her darkest cravings.

Word of mouth coming out of RAW's festival screenings has been very positive, with reviewers noting that it does make an effective use of gruesome gore and appalling audio. Could this have been enough to cause viewers to faint?

RAW was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival Monday night as part of the Midnight Madness program, and this screening resulted in paramedics having to report to the theatre to treat multiple audience members who had passed out. According to Ryan Werner, who is marketing the film at the festival, RAW was the sole cause of these fainting spells. He says, "An ambulance had to be called to the scene as the film became too much for a couple patrons."

Werner said he had seen this kind of physical reaction to a film before, at a screening of Lars von Trier's ANTICHRIST. During ANTICHRIST'S premiere at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival there were several walk-outs and four people fainted at the sight of the film's violence.

RAW has already landed distribution from Focus World in several territories around the globe. Attendees at the packed TIFF screening included many agents and managers who are hoping to sign Ducournau. 

RAW was screened at this year's edition of the Cannes Film Festival without incident. It has at least five more festival screenings ahead of it, so let's see if the fainting continues.

Julia Ducournau Garance Marillier Raw

Extra Tidbit: Have you ever fainted during a movie?
Source: THR

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