The Rotterdam Film Festival 2015 selected ‘Girlhood’ as its advance premiere film. This dynamic coming-of-age drama by Céline Sciamma is one of the most spirited films in this genre in recent years. The cast is young and highly convincing.
Having failed her exams and left school, 16-year-old Marieme meets the non-conformist Lady, Adiatou and Fily. She joins the threesome, is renamed Vic and joins in their rebellious parties in hotel rooms, their shoplifting excursions and fights. ‘Girlhood’ paints an honest portrait and makes painfully clear the fragility and resilience of a disadvantages teenager in the Paris suburbs. In many respects, the film is Sciamma’s answer to last year’s ‘Boyhood’. Whereas ‘Boyhood’ deals with a disadvantaged white male growing up in a protective environment, in ‘Girlhood’ we see how a black teenage girl in a hostile environment doesn’t resign herself to her fate but takes control. The result is a fabulous film.