Oppressed by her family setting, dead-end school prospects and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of 3 free-spirited girls. 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.
Bande de Filles is a 2014 French drama film directed by Céline Sciamma, starring Karidja Touré. It is a coming of age film that focuses on the life of Marieme, a girl who lives in a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris. The film discusses and challenges conceptions of race, gender and class. Sciamma’s goal was to capture the stories of black teenagers, characters she claims are generally underdeveloped in French films.
Watching Bande de filles, you never get the sense that it is being driven by any sociopolitical objective. On the contrary, what comes through is the sheer affection for these characters, a bittersweet admiration of their strengths and complexities, an absence of moralizing about their lifestyles (rare in films dealing with teen gangs), a celebration of their interpersonal diversity. The result is honest, empowering and electrifying.
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