Céline Sciamma’s (Water Lilies, Tomboy) triumphant third film confirms her ability to flawlessly evoke the fragile resilience of youth.
Sixteen-year-old Marieme (Karidja Touré) must navigate not only the disruptive onset of womanhood, but also the inequalities of being black and living in the underprivileged suburbs of Paris.
Excluded from school and in fear of her overbearing brother at home, Marieme escapes into the shielding environment of a girl gang. She renames herself ‘Vic’ for ‘Victory’ and gives up on asking for the things she wants and learns to just take them.
Formally meticulous (the film is divided into four distinct segments in which Marieme changes her physical appearance to suit the different worlds she must navigate), stunningly photographed and set to an expertly selected soundtrack, this is a coming-of-age drama that is as joyful as it is heartbreaking.