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Girlhood(Bande de filles)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

France

2014

1h 52m

Director Céline Sciamma

Starring Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Mariétou Touré

Genre Drama

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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.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

100

Village Voice by Alan Scherstuhl

Raw and insistent, bold and brawling, Girlhood throbs with the global now, illustrating the ways an indifferent society boxes in the people who grow up in project-style boxes.
100

The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

Where many filmmakers would have underlined the bleaker, harsher aspects, Girlhood presents the characters' grim reality without surrendering its lightness of touch, its compassion or its hope.
91

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

The tense, involving result confirms Sciamma's mastery over the coming-of-age drama, a genre too often reduced to its simplest ingredients.
63

Slant Magazine by James Lattimer

Girlhood is so keyed to the minutiae of its teenage protagonists' lives, it's as if the film can't stop itself from behaving like they do.
83

The A.V. Club by Jesse Hassenger

"Boyhood" has the natural endpoint of its lead growing into a young adult, while Girlhood stretches out in front of Marieme, an uncertain path into a haze.
91

The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

Girlhood is a fascinatingly layered, textured film that manages to be both a lament for sweetness lost and a celebration of wisdom and identity gained, often at the very same moment.
70

The Dissolve by Mike D'Angelo

Both Water Lilies and Tomboy explored similar material—fluctuating sexual/gender identity and adolescent heartbreak—but Sciamma’s touch is lighter and more nuanced in Girlhood, which refuses to pin any of its characters down, even in their vacillations.
100

CineVue by Patrick Gamble

Girlhood's non-patronising and credible representation of class, race and gender is a rare and perceptive illustration of the intricacies of social inequality.
100

Variety by Peter Debruge

As in “Water Lilies” and “Tomboy” before this, Sciamma pushes past superficial anthropological study to deliver a vital, nonjudgmental character study.
75

New York Post by Sara Stewart

Girlhood veers between being a celebration of sisterhood (albeit an occasionally violent sort) and a chronicle of the cycle of poverty.

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