VOGUE Hommes International (English) - - TRENDS -

When he made La Haine () Hate )) in 1995, Mathieu Kasso­vitz laid down the char­ter for French cin­ema’s treat­ment of sub­ur­ban ghet­tos and re­vealed a young ac­tor by the name of Vincent Cas­sel. Nearly twenty years on, Cé­line Sci­amma has taken up the torch, but the per­spec­tive has com­pletely changed. The dom­i­nant view­point is no longer that of a group of rough young male char­ac­ters. It has been re­placed by that of a gang of street–wise black girls, dressed to get them­selves no­ticed with hair­styles to match. They tackle ad­ver­sity with bravado, be it the ma­cho laws of the hous­ing es­tates, the quasi–slav­ery of un­der­paid jobs and the other chains as­so­ci­ated with en­ter­ing a life of drug–deal­ing, the strug­gle be­tween as­sert­ing their fem­i­nin­ity and the sys­tem­atic per­ceived ad­van­tage of any­thing testos­terone–re­lated. The di­rec­tor, who first came into the pub­lic eye with Tomboy, is clearly ca­pa­ble of han­dling any sub­ject with­out turn­ing it into the ha­bit­ual re­al­is­tic downer with street cred. The main pro­tag­o­nist, Mari­enne ()Karidja Tour)), 16, is also a clever op­er­a­tor with nu­mer­ous iden­ti­ties, all elu­sive. The orig­i­nal elec­tro sound­track by Para One, breaks away from the oblig­a­tory hip–hop sound­track, al­low­ing Girl­hood to de­fine and ex­plore its own ter­ri­tory, some­where be­tween a so­cial scan and a post–Eight­ies dream.

VH Re­leased on 22nd Oc­to­ber 2014.

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