Dans Ma Peau
Dans Ma Peau
shape-shifting and subjectivity
Dans Ma Peau is not a usual werewolf film, primarily as it features no werewolves to speak of. What it does feature is a woman named Esther who, while wandering alone in the dark, gets cut by an unknown object. This wound pre-empts a series of self-inflicted injuries of increasing severity as Esther mutilates and devours her own flesh in an attempt to define herself against others while irreversibly losing herself to the beast within. Thus Dans Ma Peau uses a recognisable myth to construct a powerful way of thinking about selfhood. This chapter argues that the similarity of Dans Ma Peau with the werewolf myth comes from the film’s providing of a way of thinking about subjectivity: in particular, female subjectivity. Thinking of the subject in relation to Judith Butler’s Excitable Speech and Kristeva’s notion of the abject, this chapter offers an analysis of Dans Ma Peau that suggests a reworking of the female werewolf to present one woman’s troubled attempt to retain and define her own subjectivity through a process of self-harm.
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