Marieme (Karidja Touré) is a shy, bored, put-upon French-African teenager living in the banlieue of Paris. Recruited to join a gang by three tougher girls, she sheds some of her inhibitions, restyles her hair, changes her name—they rechristen her Vic—and tries to take charge of her own life. Teenage girlhood, with its nervous stretches of boredom and its violent, electric upsurges, has been the dominant subject so far for the 36-year-old French filmmaker Céline Sciamma, and this—her third feature—has been widely praised as her best to date. A shoplifting binge, a stint of drug-running, a late-night walk home after a football game, an epiphanic sing-along to Rihanna’s “Diamonds”: Sciamma captures these girls’ lives with a rare empathy and a close, attentive eye. The result is one of the best coming-of-age films of recent years, and one of regrettably few modern French movies to take a deep interest in the country’s urban working class. A Strand Releasing release.
Nominated for two César Awards including Best Director
Cannes Film Festival 2014
“Sciamma revels in the risky, reckless exuberance of adolescence and in the sheer joy of filming it.” —A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“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.” —Jessica Kiang, The Playlist
“Vital, a reminder that there is so much more to be said, so much more beauty and complexity to be explored, in the coming-of-age story.” —Zeba Blay, Shadow and Act