M.F.A. | Chicago Reader

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95 minutes · 2017

A shy graduate student is violently raped by a classmate and becomes a serial killer of other rapists in this half-baked thriller, which nonetheless deserves credit for addressing an issue rarely broached in feature films: the injustice faced by many young women when they report being sexually assaulted on a college campus. In the lead role, Francesca Eastwood takes after her father, Clint: she's magnetic and convincing as a vigilante, despite her character's implausibly quick switch from wallflower to assassin. Screenwriter Leah McKendrick, who also plays the student's troubled neighbor, packs the narrative with scathing commentary on rape culture, and director Natalia Leite, leveraging an eerie score by Sonya Belousova, depicts the onscreen rapes and their aftereffects with brutal clarity.

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