Girlhood France 2014 – 112min.
Bandes de filles
An adolescent in conflict with her mother and her school joins a clique of girls who prowl her Paris suburb.
Marieme is 16. In her Paris suburb, she is faced with the challenges of a complicated adolescence, at the edge of an age of discovery. Failing at school, ignored by her mother, she lets herself be bossed by her older brother as she takes care of her two younger sisters. Then she meets Lady, Adiatou and Fily, three girls from her neighborhood, who have their own codes of conduct to help them assert themselves. Marieme becomes the fourth in the clique.
From the beginning, Bande de filles echoes the values of Céline Sciamma’s France: precise direction, electrifying music, sparkling lights, modern faces – all for a modern, tender look at a generation. The director’s third film, which is reminiscent of the electro-poppy Naissance des pieuvres, her superb debut gets a little lost in the third part due to its scattered rhythm, which is far from the tight first hour. But never mind: Bande de filles makes an impact, especially thanks to its actresses (headed by the excellent Karidja Touré), who are transformed into heroines of the Paris banlieue.