“For example,” she shared, “some people seem at one point to think that I was a cannibal, or that I wanted to kill people or f*** with your car … but unfortunately, I think that nowadays, people tend to expect from films to reflect exactly what the person is in real life.” Ducournau went on:

“From my point of view, we are not mentors. We are not there to impose anything. All I know is we’re there to raise more and more questions constantly. You can’t do that if people, let’s say, asked from us to portray only, “good” [or] “optimistic” [art].”

The filmmaker is touching upon a conversation that comes up frequently on social media in recent years, with quick-to-anger viewers regularly confusing on-screen depictions of something for endorsement from the director, writer, or stars. Ducournau, though, also has words of wisdom about where this seemingly recent compulsion to conflate art and artist may have started. “This is not something that I think it’s preventable, but I know where it comes from because the world we live in nowadays is so dark,” she told audiences at SXSW. “And, you know, I think people want a break from the world and that cinema used to be able to bring that break from the world.” It’s a development that she says makes her “very sad.”