Bandes De Filles (Girlhood) – ***

Posted: January 12, 2016 in 2014, Coming Of Age, Drama, France, Social Drama, XXX

This movie didn’t bore one single bit. It’s well directed and the dialogue seems real. The acting isn’t always that good, but it’s the kind of movie that needs unprofessional actors to make it more authentic. The main performer does an excellent job though and although the title refers to a gang of girls, it’s really about the journey of this one woman who needs to make her own choices in life.

Marieme lives in the projects of Paris. She takes care of her two younger sisters while her mom is working in the city. There’s no dad in the house, but an older brother who runs the household with his fists. School isn’t working out for her and becoming a cleaning lady like her mother or a subordinate wife isn’t an option. She joins a gang of girls who push her to look for new boundaries and more freedom…

The reason why this movie doesn’t bore is simple: not all is explained, a lot of scenes are self explanatory and the director allows you to draw your own conclusions. It’s also not a super dramatic story, there are quite a lot of uplifting moments too. A much praised scene was probably improvised on the spot and unscripted: the four girls sing to Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ in a hotel room. Life is shit in the banlieue, but at least you can have friends and find love there as well. Not all is grim.



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