Thursday 16th October, 9pm – Odeon West End
Friday 17th October, 2.45pm – Vue West End Cinema
Saturday 18th October, 8.45pm – Ciné Lumière
Girlhood is a right of passage film. It follows the heroine (Karidja Toure), presenting the audience with a personalised story of the difficulties of girlhood and its progression into womanhood. Marieme lives in a discouraging atmosphere, where her mother is mostly absent and the only male figure she has is an abusive brother, from whom the only respect she receives is when she displays a successful act of violence and brutality on another girl. This film encompasses a strong layer of violence and aggression, and suggests that this is the only form of power these girls have, and most interestingly, only against other girls. It seems that the fight is contracted within their own sex and they are completely powerless against the real oppressive force: men.
Marieme is desperate to change her situation, and progression in education is not an option available to her. She finds the only other option is drug dealing, a dangerous job under the control of another oppressive male figure. What is most intriguing about this film is its display of the decisions – and mistakes – girls make when growing up and trying to figure out who they are.
Initially, it seems that the new friends Marieme makes are going to simply be a bad influence on her, and that her challenge is to realise this and stand up to them. Instead, though, they are bullies and thus she becomes one herself. Yet they quickly grow out of it together and become true friends, which is beautiful to watch, and even more so because the personal struggles are so true to real life and the difficulties of this age.
This story is universal and its ambiguous ending of where Marieme’s life is headed accentuates this, especially as she does not go backwards.
Girlhood release date is yet to be announced.
For further information about the BFI London Film Festival visit here.
Read more reviews from the festival here.
Watch the trailer for Girlhood here: