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France, Qatar · 2016
1h 45m
Director Houda Benyamina
Starring Oulaya Amamra, Déborah Lukumuena, Kévin Mischel, Jisca Kalvanda
Genre Drama

In a ghetto where religion and drug trafficking rub shoulders, Dounia has a lust for power and success. Supported by Maimouna, her best friend, she decides to follow in the footsteps of Rebecca, a respected dealer. But her encounter with Djigui, a young, disturbingly sensual dancer, throws her off course.

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What are critics saying?


MTV News by Amy Nicholson

It's thrillingly, fiercely female. It takes the same neighborhood-boy-turns-hoodlum story we've seen for a century and simply flips the script.


Variety by Catherine Bray

In her aces debut feature Divines, Houda Benyamina has what ought to be a career-making film on her hands.


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

This is no simple story of girl power. In fact, it’s arguably less concerned with feminism than it is with the financial realities that impede it from taking root.


The Hollywood Reporter by Jordan Mintzer

Benyamina has a hard time maintaining her film's pace and plausibility, especially during a third act that slides too far into genre territory and its accompanying clichés.


The Playlist by Kevin Jagernauth

Benyamina displays an empathetic and insightful view of young women, and the challenges of growing up, even if the screenplay doesn’t always follow through. But what Divines absolutely gets right is the deep longing and hunger young people have to better their circumstances, and the desperate lengths they’ll go to reach those goals.


The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

Divines, written and directed by French-Moroccan filmmaker Houda Benyamina, rivals "Girlhood" as a portrait of combustible banlieue femininity, emanating raw energy and scrappy good humor even as it builds to an unexpectedly tragic and horrifying finale.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Maybe the final five minutes are a little too over the top, but the overwhelming impression is that Dounia has ambition and vision, a conviction that she might still be able shape her own future. It’s an exhilarating film.

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