A 666-Character Review of ‘M.F.A.’
Many modern rape revenge films are shot through the “male gaze”, which often creates rape scenes that focus on the victim’s body. Thankfully, M.F.A. doesn’t use this damaging trope. M.F.A. follows an art student (Francesca Eastwood) as she navigates the college landscape after getting date raped by a classmate. Eastwood’s nuanced reactions—and the subtle reactions other rape victims in the film have—are frustrating, liberating, and tear-jerking. Overall, Natalia Leite (director) and Leah McKendrick (writer) have artfully crafted a rape revenge film that focuses on the aftermath of rape. Yes, the rape scene in the film is brutal, but it’s short. The real, lingering terror comes after Noelle is sexually assaulted. That’s when her pain, PTSD, and anger boil to terrifying extremes and damage others’ lives, too.