Director: Céline Sciamma
Screenwriters: Céline Sciamma

Institute History

  • 2015 Sundance Film Festival


Girlhood, which opened the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, is writer/director Céline Sciamma’s third feature film to deal with female adolescence and identity (her previous features, Water Lilies and Tomboy, played to much international success). We are thrilled to welcome her to the Sundance Film Festival.

Sixteen-year-old Marieme lives in a low-income suburb on the outskirts of Paris, a rigid, male-dominated neighborhood. Her poor performance in school leaves her with the options of either attending a vocational school or working as a cleaner in a hotel. One day, Marieme meets a trio of charismatic local girls who have swagger to burn. She quickly becomes integrated into their gang and begins to feel empowered—for better or worse—and finds a sense of freedom through her newfound style, attitude, and friends.

Shot with seductive verve, Girlhood tells a specific coming-of-age story of characters not normally represented onscreen. As Marieme, Karidja Toure? is a true discovery. Her subtlety and vulnerability work to transform Marieme from an unsure girl to one finding her power as a self-possessed young woman with emerging independence. —K.Y.

— K.Y.

Screening Details

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