Girlhood is a coming-of-age drama that follows a young French girl growing up in the hood. This independent feature is unique in dealing with coming of age, gender, race and lower class life. The film is French and available in English subtitle.
The protagonist, Marieme, has failed to gain access to a High school even after repeating a year at school. At this vital time in her life she meets a group of older, rebellious teen girls that manipulate her in joining them to visit the city centre. The girls defend Marieme and take her under their wing; this appears to be the first time Marieme has had such support in her life. Back at home, her two younger sisters rely on Marieme as a role model and part-guardian. Marieme is under the parental guidance of her physically abusive older brother.
The story of Girlhood progresses to show the, dangerously easy, downward spiral for a young teen living in the hood. Girlhood is unique in portraying each poor decision and their results in a subtle, progressive manner. The viewer isn’t spoon fed information and Marieme’s decisions and circumstance are completely open to your individual interpretation. This is a pleasant change of pace in coming-of-age drama as many examples of the genre have a definitive point to tell and will force it upon the viewer.
Girlhood’s production is brilliant in telling a “day in the life of” story, as we follow Marieme through her day to day life growing up. Each shot and scene has a clear purpose, sometimes subtly offering the viewer information.
Girlhood has scenes that display the competitive attitudes between the local French girl gangs. This unique perspective of a niche social group makes Girlhood an important addition to the coming-of-age genre. With competitive and empowering scenes, Girlhood is a very open, balanced portrayal of life from a unique point of view.