IMDb Rating 6.9 10 7194

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
January 06, 2020 at 06:49 AM


720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1002.4 MB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S 3 / 19
1.77 GB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S 4 / 18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by StevePulaski 7 / 10

Aesthetically choppy but thematically potent

Marieme (Karidja Touré) is a sixteen-year-old, African-French girl living in a working class Paris suburb, where her poor academic performance results in no other option other than vocational school. Marieme's homelife is equally bleak, as she's often in the care of her abusive older brother, with no real friends or outlet of creativity to turn to. One day after school, she meets a gang of girls; lead by Lady (Assa Sylla), they are Fily (Marietou Tore) and Adiatou (Lindsay Karamoh), who ask if Marieme wants to hang out with them and enjoy a day of independence, free from school and the responsibilities of every day life. Marieme is instantly attracted by their sleek leather jackets, gold necklaces, and loud hairstyles, so she can't help but, overtime, develop a sense of attraction to them and their wily ways. It doesn't take long for Marieme to become invested in the gang's lifestyle, which concerns a lot of assimilation into their own everyday practices, such as relentless, bare-fisted fighting with other women in remote urban areas. The violence gets ugly and the lengths Marieme goes to be accepted are uglier.

Céline Sciamma's Girlhood is a delightfully unconventional picture that truly shows the subtle takeover that many gangs have on people, and in this case, women, the demographic who is sort of accepted as being "too good for gangs" or more drawn to harmless cliques that innocently gawk at guys and discuss fashion trends. Sciamma goes for a brutal but tender picture, much like her last film Tomboy, a surprisingly gentle film about a ten-year-old girl searching for acceptance with her short hair and fluid gender identity.

Where Tomboy spoke to young girls, Girlhood speaks to the demographic of young women that are handicapped, be it by finances, personal responsibilities, poor academic performance, or what-have-you to the point where joining a pack of dangerous women seems to be the only sane and logical thing to do. It's a scary thought but Sciamma depicts it in a way comparable to that of Larry Clark or Harmony Korine, where the film doesn't adhere to a slippery slope structure, where we're essentially watching the demise of a character before a rise even occurs. Sciamma doesn't subject her Marieme character to constant abuse that grows worse and worse, in an almost sadistic and self-damning way. Instead, she follows her along in a realistic manner, through multiple hairstyle changes and even an eventual identity overhaul in hopes that she'll find some semblance of solace with herself.

Many can see Marieme's problem a mile away and that's the fact that she's trying to solve her personal problems by filling the hole with other people, which, in a long-term sense providing a close relationship with males or females is built, will only result in mistreatment and abandonment on her part. Marieme is trying to find solace in others when she should be spending more time alone, searching for herself instead of falling prey to the vicious acts of gangmembers she barely knows. However, this is where Sciamma's film becomes a multilayered examination of the troubled female heroine; we can either view her choices as that of an naive young girl pining for acceptance or somebody who is trying to figure out what she wants and taking pride in group identity.

However you view Marieme and Sciamma's general purpose for Girlhood, certain ideas and attributes about the film hold up in their own, less ambiguous way. For starters, Sciamma goes for a long and aesthetic that relies heavily on vignettes and a lack of pacing in the conventional sense. Her pacing is very loose, and unfortunately, this lack of a cleaner structure finds itself all over the board in the way the film wants us, the audience, to react. Her pacing, and overall aesthetic, resembles that of a potboiling soap opera in that, no matter how Sciamma decides to position her characters or her camera, everything still feels like something alone the lines of a soap opera in terms of its look and feel. This is a somewhat distracting attribute, especially for a film nearing two hours in length and running on a rather minimal plot.

With that, Touré's performance is quite the standout, given that for the twenty-year-old's first acting gig she is left to carry a lion's weight of the film on her back in addition to having a character without a fundamental identity. Much like the young Zoé Héran's Laure in Tomboy, Touré finds ways to make Marieme speak to young women who have found themselves lost and without a healthy creative option to turn to amidst a bleak outlook. This sets up Sciamma for her many idiosyncratic insights into the gender fluidity of her female subjects in a manner that gives Girlhood a stamp of cold-cut realism and honesty films of this nature are hard to come by.

Starring: Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, and Mariétou Touré. Directed by: Céline Sciamma.

Reviewed by LadiesAndMovies 9 / 10

Friendship, sisterhood and growing up

Just saw the movie yesterday and absolutely loved it. I took to IMDb to read up on the director and actresses etc., as I often do when I like a movie. Imagine my surprise when the first review I saw was a long winy 'exposé' of calling the director a pervert in different ways. Say what? Also because the director is lesbian she must hate men, no other evidence needed really according to the author. While that's obviously laughable for anyone who's not a raging homophobe and anyone in their right mind will ignore that review I thought I'd offer my views since there are sadly so few others around here (yet).

First I might disclose that I do have a weak spot for movies dealing with female friendships, and as the movie reminded me of Show me Love (Fucking Åmål), Marie Antoinette, Frances Ha and other female centered movies, it was hard for me not to love it. The friendship between Vic and Lady is especially touching, from Lady taking Vic on as a young shy protegé, to them bonding after Vic's victory in the fight she fought for Lady or for Lady's acceptance of Vic leaving.

The scene where they are dancing all together or playing mini-golf reminds me of some of the few good scenes of The Bling Ring and perhaps The Spring Breakers, that unquestioning best friend kind of relationships that are never as strong as during your teenage years.

Then of course you have Vic's close relationship and protectiveness of her younger sister. I almost cried when Vic sat all ashamed in the train reaching for her sisters hand, and then her sister finally forgave her. And then that final scene...

If the only thing you get out of this movie is that you're watching the bodies of a group of young women, then you might want to take a serious look at yourself and how you relate to women. The only sense of any kind of possible objectification or sexual tension that occurred in my mind was when Vic was telling her boyfriend to undress.

I could perhaps see that some, a handful, of the straight men watching this movie would confuse it's undertones of sisterhood for something else. After all if you've been feed movies where women are never friends (consider the Bechdel test), only possibly lovers for the male gaze to enjoy, then it might be hard to interpret this movie. It might be frustrating to see young women presented in any other way than the normal and since it doesn't fit your sensibilities interpret that as the 'lesbian gaze'.

As a straight woman on the other hand I applaud this movie and wish there are many more like this one to come!

Reviewed by jjustinjaeger 9 / 10

Likely to be one of the year's best

I like films like this one. They have purpose, relevance, and seek to connect us with lives we have not lived but can empathize with.

It's easy to see these characters as punks until it becomes difficult to. Writer/director Céline Sciamma makes no effort to judge the actions of the characters and thereby gracefully detaches her ego from the story. This makes for a film watching experience that is more absorption than hard analysis and intellectualization of this protagonist's life. This does not make it any less a provocative work, but allows for understanding we would not get otherwise, as with a camera less subtle.

Yes, it's a coming of age film, but without the climactic moment when the character comes- of-age (whatever that means). Instead the film is about comings and goings of identity and security, and why a person would seek these things.

It's socially relevant in the way it poses the character's environment and socioeconomic influences as factors to her motivations. We get a true sense of her circumstance. It explores low income, predominantly black areas of society untouched by most films. The attention it gives to people of this circumstance and the understanding it promotes is certainly a means to social change if only these sorts of films could reach more people.

Much attention is payed to bodies, skin, and faces, which the lighting often compliments. This is the source of the film's power rather than extraneous camera movement. The fascination here is intriguing as it's not out of lust but… well maybe it's just about the fascination. We are sensitive towards our physiques and appearances, and the camera shares this, only the bodies it shows are not just the characters' bodies but the actors' bodies. Bodies are a source for both power and insecurity to the characters. I don't feel the need to analyze this, only to comment, so I won't say any more.

While Girlhood won't be in everyone's movie watching range, it's definitely worth seeking out if you're inclined.

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