How do you see yourself right now? Are you happy with people you surround yourself with? Do they instil you with confidence or cause more self-doubt? All the talk about Raw over recent weeks has centred around a bit of controversy--a TIFF audience member fainted during a screening (PR spin A+ level)--but it is much more than just the gristle and body horror gore that will bring the majority of punters to the cinema.

Let's start with the obvious: Raw is not an easy-going film if you struggled with biology dissections at school. Secondly, I'm not going to beat around the bush here: Raw is about cannibalism. It's not over-the-top gore; it's matter-of-fact gore. There are no pressurised blood squirters firing plasma all over the room when lead Justine (played brilliantly by Garance Marillier; we'll be seeing more of her) bites into fresh (very fresh) meat. Instead, the gruesome effects work causes your stomach to tighten and your brain to emote severe concern whenever she's near another human. It's exceptionally well-done and the realism adds to the gruesomeness.

There. We've spoken about the gore. Now, let's focus on the rest of the film. Growing up as a vegetarian, Justine likely suffered the usual comments associated with being on a specialist diet. "It's not that much, just one bite", "What do you eat on Christmas Day?", and my personal favourite (I was a vegetarian for 16 years): "What do you eat at McDonald's?" (The answer is chips). Being a vegetarian is tough and as well as being a self-proclaimed weirdo, Justine sees herself as an outsider thanks to being sheltered by an overprotective mother.

Raw taps directly into the identity crisis had by many when they start university. The film takes place during hazing week at a veterinary school and is full of rituals seem more similar to what could be found at Guantanamo Bay. The new students are required to lose their dignity by walking on all fours, getting doused in blood, and eating raw meat are all part and parcel of this introductory week. Friendship groups, sexual identity, and the overall decision about whether you can fuck monkeys now without a condom and not get AIDS. The latter statement, part of your typical lunch-time convo between Justine and her classmates, sums up what it's like to climb to ideas above your station whilst mentally still being young. You're supposed to engage in these conversations but the majority of the time you're unsure whether your opinion differs or not.

Raw is a long way away from The Breakfast Club and 10 Things I Hate About You when it comes to films that deal with the traps of youth. Throughout the film, Justine deals with the perils of wanting to fit in and to be normal (a conversation with a nurse is central to that) but her awakening counters that and pushes her over the edge of acceptable behaviour. Plus, it's all done with a significant amount of visual style and a pulsating and intense soundtrack (but only when needed). Silence is sometimes the only soundtrack necessary and director Julia Ducournau understands this perfectly.

American Honey has been called "the most important film of our time," but in my mind Raw is just as important. It's nauseating, intense, and for me relatable (apart from the obvious cannibalism). Make sure to watch it with your eyes open and your stomach empty. And don't blame me if you're the reason for "cleanup in screen 5".

RAW, directed by Julia Ducournau, premiered on Monday 10 October at the 2016 BFI London Film Festival. Go here to learn more.

Here's what Siân thought about Raw: