Posted in: by Robert Horton, Contributors, Film Reviews

Film Review: Girlhood

Karidja Touré

There’s no parallel between the American film Boyhood and the French film Bande de Filles, except that a clever marketer thought it would be useful to have Girlhood be the title for the latter movie. Can’t blame them for that one, but Girlhood stands on its own as a thoughtful, nonjudgmental look at a lost teen who finds definition over the course of a few rocky months. Her name is Marieme (Karidja Touré), a wary girl whose mother works nights as a janitor. (She’s barely seen in this youth-ruled scenario, set in a poor, immigrant-filled banlieue outside Paris.) Marieme’s older brother is a bully, and she seems to have made herself as plain and anonymous as possible. One day at school she falls in with a trio of cool girls, led by the glammed-up Lady (Assa Sylla), whose habits include shoplifting, taunting other groups of girls, and connecting over their shared sense of displacement. A lip-synching scene to Rihanna’s “Diamonds” shows their powerful bond better than 20 pages of dialogue could.

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