★★★★ The Irish Times ★★★★ The Irish Independent ★★★★Entertainment.ie
With Water Lilies and Tomboy, Céline Sciamma established herself as an intriguing and committed filmmaker, presenting stories about young women in a distinctive style that is observational, unobtrusive and refreshingly sincere. In her most daring film to date, which returns after opening the Carte Noire IFI French Film Festival to great acclaim last year, Sciamma courageously confronts issues of class, race and violence in a potent coming-of-age story measured out in chapters. Featuring some breathtaking moments and daring stylistic flourishes, Girlhood focuses on a quartet of black girls living in the tower blocks of Paris.
At the centre of the film is Marieme (a captivating, evolving performance from Karidja Touré), who has troubles at home, limited job prospects and is intimidated by the boys in her neighbourhood. This all changes when she is drawn to an uncompromising, wilful teenage girl gang who eventually take her seriously. (Notes by Michael Hayden)
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