My little Princess: Eva Ionesco’s disturbingly erotic photographs

July 22, 2012

Recently, that is a few days ago, I’ve finally laid back and conscientiously started to tick titles from my list of movies I once, long ago, at the beginning of this horribly torrid summer, planned to see. And seen them.

Summarizing, that’s how I ended up engaging in a 6 hours marathon of French films from which “My little Princess” was by far the best and most dramatic, especially considering  (a thing I would come to find ensuing the actual watching) the script based on the real traumatic experiences of director Eva Ionesco, who, between brackets, has Romanian roots just like myself (and I’m not the patriotic type).

Naturally, a distorted vision of he life proving insufficient to my appetite, I had to do a little searching only to find a story I’m undecided whether to  classify as outrageously interesting or disturbingly sick giving its interpretable components. After omniscient Wikipedia, Eva Ionesco, now an accomplished full grown woman, was lured by her own mother in the world of pornographic pictures at a very tender age, posing in baroque-style postures most inappropriate that can easily have one’s mind fly to Lolita’s icon. Barely 11, she made the cover of Playboy October 1976 Italian issue with a nude pictorial featuring her in provocative positions on an empty terrace close to the sea, a true scandal. The Spanish edition of Penthouse also contained a selection of her photographs, all signed by Eva’s bizarre mother, Irina Ionesco. Which normally lead to a huge controversy never truly ended.

Well, it’s a bit shocking and definitely against the norms, even a devastating adventure for the influenced child yet confronting with these pictures’ aesthetic value, isn’t it still art, flagrant, indeed, but art nonetheless?

It’s one of those rare occasions when I can’t surely express an opinion.

Despite the prejudices, I utterly like a great deal of Irina’s work, including the part with Eva as leading model since it’s beautiful, arresting, a delight for the impartial eye.

Although it’s impossible to ignore the damage they produced to Eva’s immature mind, a torment she alone describes throughout the movie, culminating in the still unquenchable hate towards Irina.

No wonder she vehemently refused to meet the cause of her humiliation again after suing her for harassment. In many of the interviews preceding or following the movie she exposes only the legitimate attitude of a woman abused both morally and psychically, eager to escape an image she has never approved to show and depict her side of the drama (“the dimension of a Greek tragedy”, if we quote Eva) as revenge.

Everybody should be on Eva’s side, of course, but what’s your opinion? What is history bereft of such events?

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11 Responses to “My little Princess: Eva Ionesco’s disturbingly erotic photographs”


  1. Truly a fascinating question, Madame. I would love to know more about this woman today.


    • She worked it out quite nicely, surprisingly, but it’s clear she was a powerful character from the way she fought her mother’s dominance. she’s a good and appreciated actress in france today and with many projects going on perpetually. she was at cannes festival too, if i remember it well…

  2. Susan Ozmore Says:

    Wow great question. The photos are beautiful, and as you said disturbing at the same time. But I think it’s not the photos that are so disturbing as the fact that she had no real control, it was her mother’s doing I gather from what you said. And also, it is disturbing to me that there is a market for photos of sexualized little girls. Although, I guess that will never change and all we can do is protect them if we can. Great post with a provocative question.

  3. midnitered Says:

    I love Huppert when she tackles these outrageous roles! I hope I don’t have to wait long to see it. Thank you so much for letting me know about this film!


  4. This has always been a sensitive topic. Children are so vulnerable and constantly abused. Children are important! They’re our future! It’s mind-toying to think there is art at hand, but at what cost? These pictures are certainly captivating. You almost forget you’re looking at a child. A child in pain. Great post!


    • thing is, you cannot be sure she’s in pain while taking those pictures… it’s more like she suffered because her mother abused her trust and couldn’t appreciate her as being something else than a model… an interesting psychological study, actually


  5. I LOVE Isabelle Huppert. If she’s in it, it’s erotic. She’s basically the reason why I have the Sundance Channel.

    Great Stuff!

    Thanks!

    ~kp


    • huppert is indeed a fantastic actress, so very compulsive with her often eccentric roles.always expressive, she’s just one of those women who remain gorgeous over 50.
      and thank you too for the nice comment, kp!


  6. The pictures evoked the same reaction from me. Inappropriately gorgeous.


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