Céline Sciamma / FR, 2014 / 113 min.
Marieme is a timid young girl living in a housing project in a Paris suburb. When she meets three sassy girls, her life changes course. She changes her name, her hair and her clothes, and drops out of school. She hopes she will be accepted by the gang of girls and regain her freedom.
Marieme’s future isn’t looking too bright. Things are not working out at home and at school, and her banlieue is ruled by rivalling boy gangs. She finds a surrogate family in a feisty girl gang, but needs to completely reinvent herself in the process.
Céline Sciamma (Tomboy, Naissance de pieuvres) drew inspiration for her delicate character study from the groups of black teenage girls she often saw talking loudly or dancing in the Les Halles shopping centre in Paris, in the metro or at the Gare du Nord. She became fascinated by their aesthetics, style, and postures, and also found among them the four lead actresses for her film.
Sciamma looked without prejudice at what defines female identity when confronted with social pressure, restrictions and taboos. Her realistic portrait is presented through the eyes of the young women themselves as they try to shape their lives in these underprivileged neighbourhoods. Opening film of the Directors’ Fortnight section at Cannes.
…the delicate sense of style, rhythm and energy …deserves full praise. (**** de Volkskrant)
There have been many films on the subject, but few are as powerful as Girlhood… A moving…optimistic film…a sublime final scene… (**** Het Parool)
…great…natural acting…a poetic edge… subtle, open-minded observations (**** VPRO/Cinema.nl)
Bande de filles
Women Make Film
Last year, Eye presented the film programme Women Make Film, an alternative world history of cinema featuring women in the lead role. Women have played an important role from the early days of cinema, as cinematographers, filmmakers and sometimes also producers.