I was really taken by A Real Young Girl as I had never seen anything so direct and honest about female sexuality. It could be mistaken for porn, but in my experience it was about truth, about the fact that women are truly, beautifully horny! It was a correction of the sex perception about women because of it I felt my coyness – and also respect for Catherine.
As indicated by the promotional image of its young heroine sitting open-legged on railroad tracks with her hand covering her bare crotch, A Real Young Girl invites the comparisons that would earn Breillat the moniker “auteur of porn”. Yet the performer’s defiant stare into the camera – a gaze repeatedly taken up by Breillat’s female protagonists to come – announces the film’s confrontational aims to deliberately disrupt voyeuristic pleasure and to desecrate fantasies of girlhood sexuality.