A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The French class structure limits Marieme's options. It's hard for her to feel optimistic when she can see no future for herself, and it's easy to see why she joins a gang and starts acting like a thug.
Positive Role Models
Marieme starts off as a caring older sister who helps raise her younger siblings, but as she becomes more involved in a gang, she spends less time with her family. She also starts stealing, extorts lunch money from her classmates, and takes a job as a courier for a drug dealer.
Violence & Scariness
Two scenes show girls in brutal fist fights. An older brother harasses his younger siblings, slapping and even punching them. A teenage girl slaps her younger sister during a heated argument. Gangs of girls yell and taunt each other, threatening physical violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few scenes show teens kissing and starting to caress each other. One shows a man's nude backside, and the girl is shown from behind, starting to undress. Some of the dialogue includes innuendo.
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Some swearing, in French, translated in subtitles as "f--k," "bitch," "bulls--t," and "skank."
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Products & Purchases
Teens compare their mobile phones. Some are shown using iPhones, and one person talks about a specific Samsung Galaxy model. Teenage girls covet expensive clothing.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A teen girl gets a job delivering drugs. Some characters are shown smoking cigarettes and drinking at parties.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the French movie Girlhood is a bleak but affecting look at life in the housing projects outside Paris, where young people have few options and little chance to improve their lives. The main character joins a girls' gang and is soon stealing, extorting money from classmates, and beating up members of rival gangs. There are a few surprisingly violent scenes, some kissing and innuendo (as well as a glimpse of a naked male backside), and frequent swearing (in French), including words that are translated in the subtitles as "f--k," "bitch," "s--t," and "skank." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With GIRLHOOD, director Celine Sciamma delivers a tour-de-force movie that will haunt you for ages. Not only are the performances (led by Toure's) incredibly moving, but the story itself, told in a stripped manner devoid of the annoying overproduction that plagues plenty of other movies, lays bare what happens when someone so young sees doors close to her before she has even begun to discover her potential. That Toure isn't a seasoned actress is both surprising and totally believable; her Marieme is authentic because the role, as Toure defines her, isn't overwrought or polished. She's simply true. Prepare to have your hopes frustrated and your heart broken.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.