Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

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Parents' Guide to


By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Immigrant characters face peril in heartwarming film.

Movie NR 2019 90 minutes
Binti Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Delightful story with 12 year old leads who are creative and loving

Delightful and imaginative--great characters and an important story about immigration and being treated like you don't exist. Many laughs and warm moments--Binti, herself, is a complete joy. I don't remember anything the least age sensitive--although the story is a little complicated so that's why seems best for 10 and up.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Real-life father-daughter pair Baloji and Bebel Tshiani Baloji are the pulse of this heartwarming and entertaining Belgian film. As the titular character Binti, the tween star is especially buoyant and brings a joyful presence to her character, an aspiring vlogger. Her videos are filmed as if from her handheld phone camera, but then cleverly shown as if already edited together with effects. She's matched by up-and-coming Belgian actor Bakker as Elias, the well-meaning and tender-hearted misfit. There's symbolism in his obsession with a rare species taken from its African homeland by European captors as well as in his own repeated retreat into the forest. The magic of childhood seen in their exuberant playfulness is contrasted with the dire reality of an immigrant child who feels "nowhere is home."

The film constructs a gentle and earnest tale that aims to show the human side to immigration. The physical tenderness between father and daughter is captured with great visual detail. At risk of being sent "back" to Congo, a country she doesn't know, Binti is portrayed as thoroughly Belgian and insistent that she does indeed "exist" even if she has no papers. Elias's innocent question of why she can't stay in Belgium when there's clearly "plenty of room" is poignant. It's heartbreaking to see Binti and her dad chased or arrested, and it's also heartbreaking to see the pained look of one of the policemen involved. The film could be considered overly simplistic in some aspects, but it makes a convincing case that these characters deserve humane treatment and a happy ending.

Movie Details

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