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movie

France

French

Character-driven, Depressing, Dramatic

2014

Céline Sciamma, Female director

Assa Sylla, Cyril Mendy, Damien Chapelle

112 min

Synopsis

Oppressed by her family setting, dead-end school prospects and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of three free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her dress code, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping that this will be a way to freedom.

Our Take

7.1
Bilal Zouheir

An electrifying portrayal of a girl growing up in a poor Paris suburb. This coming-of-age story follows Marieme, a girl struggling in high-school who learns that she will be rerouted out of academia and onto a track where she will learn a trade. Frustrated by the news and fearful of an abusive elder brother, she finds solace in a gang of girls from her neighborhood. Initially she decides against joining them but does so at the prospect of pursuing a crush. Her new friends take her into the center of Paris and to a more violent and crime-driven lifestyle. An undeniably grim movie, Girlhood compensates with an amazing character study – themes of identity and adolescent need for belonging are at the center of a type of a story that rarely ever gets any attention.

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