What is “foet” ?
As plain-jane housewife Denise learns during an unexpected meeting with old friend Helene while visiting New York, foet is the stuff dreams are made of — or at least the stuff that the hottest new fashion accesory is made of. If the shrieks of unborn babies in the animated opening credits sequence aren’t enough to tip you off, foet is the hide of human foetuses (foeti?). That’s what glamour girl Helene’s new pocketbook is made from, and the stitched-together bag first horrifies, then intrigues Denise. “It’s made of dead baby skin?” she inquires. Helene assures her friend that the Supreme Court has ruled that aborted foetuses aren’t human, so there’s no need for alarm.
Based on a 1991 short story by F. Paul Wilson, “FOET” is a pitch-black comedy not recommended for the squeamish. Likely to offend partisans on both sides of the abortion debate, the real target of this short film’s satiric assault is the world of high fashion and the ethics of those who fall prey to its trends.
The leap from coats made of animal fur to purses made of foetus skin is an outrageous one, of course, and director Ian Fischer (who made “FOET” as an NYU student project) raises the level of outrage even further before he’s done (a line about “kid gloves” is painfully bad on any level). By the end, “FOET” feels like a sick joke that’s gone on just a little too long.