GIRLHOOD – Bande de filles (15)

GIRLHOOD – Bande de filles (15)

Run time: 113mins

Director: Céline Sciamma

Cast: Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Mariétou Touré, Cyril Mendy, Simina Soumaré

Synopsis:  Suffering from abuse at home and unable to achieve the grades she needs to progress in school, 16-year-old Marieme’s future looks bleak. She decides to take

fate into her own hands and befriends a gang of three girls where she discovers a sense of identity and belonging, but will she find the independence she is searching for?


French writer director Céline Sciamma’s (Water Lilies, 2007; Tomboy, 2011) latest examination of female identity, Girlhood (Bande de filles),  features a barnstorming central performance from newcomer Karidja Touré as Marieme alias Vic.  She is 16, black and living in the high rise suburbs of Paris. Her life should be full of possibilities but in fact she is confined by society’s expectations, peer pressure and limited horizons. Excluded from school, wary of her abusive and violent older brother and with responsibilities for a younger sister while her mother has to be constantly absent working in menial jobs, Marieme takes refuge in a girl gang.  She renames herself ‘Vic’ for Victory.

In this coming-of-age drama, Vic changes her appearance as she grows in confidence and changes from a timid schoolgirl to a rebellious leather-clad, knife-carrying gang member.

The four main actresses in Girlhood – Touré and Assa Sylla (Lady), Lindsay Karamoh (Adiatou) and Mariétou Touré (Fily) – are all non professionals and astound with their brash energy. Girlhood also has a red-hot soundtrack with music from Rihanna, Sia and Kuk Harrell.

Images courtesy of Studio Canal