Bande de filles
Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Mariétou Touré, Idrissa Diabaté, Simina Soumare, Cyril Mendy, Djibril Gueye, Binta Diop, Chance N'Guessan, Rabah Nait Oufella, Damien Chapelle, Nina Melo, Elyes Sabyani, Halem El Sabagh
After meeting a group of 3 free-spirited girls, Marieme (Karidja Touré) starts a new life. She changes her name, her dress code, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping that this will be a way to freedom.
In 2014, another film with a similar title came out, "Boyhood", but they couldn't be more different so I don't really get critics relating the two films. Linklater's is a simple coming-of-age, no matter how good it is, it still is a coming-of-age, period.
"Girlhood", on the other hand, is a pretty good coming-of-age film, but it also is a beautiful, authentic, interesting and emotional portrayal of the hardships of young women, specifically in the suburbs of Paris.
After "Tomboy" - which I'm yet to see but I've heard only good things about it -, French director/writer Céline Sciamma continues portraying the search for a place in the world and for an identity, which are typical of that period in life that seems to becomes more and more difficult, adolescence. And not only she does that with a lot of sensitivity, but she does not judge the actions of the characters.
All she does, with a very quietly paced narrative, is focusing on the main character, Marienne, a 16-year-old black girl living in the suburbs of Paris, a girl that is oppressed by her family, especially by her bigger brother, and that tries as hard as she can to earn her freedom.
Sciamma does such a good job that, just like her, we won't judge Marieme for the things she does, rather we'll be able to understand her decisions. And that's because we get a true sense of her circumstances as the director wonderfully explores what it means to be young, uneducated and black in France.
However, the greatest strength of the film is Karidja Touré. The young actress carries the whole film on her shoulders, she delivers a powerful performance as Marieme and she is the one that makes the film so engaging.