Céline Sciamma’s third feature film is an intriguing and moving examination of a young black woman’s transition from puberty to adulthood in one of Paris’s banlieues. Her chances of escaping this environment are slim. Employment opportunities are few, and she has problems with relationships and pregnancies. In a natural way, Sciamma shows how family and society can – sometimes unintentionally – hold back young women.
With her girlfriends, Marieme – now calling herself Vic – shops, dances and flirts. We are constantly aware of her strength and vigilance – she’s not naive, she knows what’s what. Set to the music from Rihanna’s Diamonds, in one beautiful, poignant scene Sciamma shows how we all feel when we do not quite yet have to be an adult and everything seems possible. The frustration of the previous generation of young people growing up in the banlieues, so powerfully presented by Mathieu Kassovitz in La haine in 1995, here makes way for the power of the new.