This is an irrefutable fact.
Sheila O'Malley received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Rhode Island and a Master's in Acting from the Actors Studio MFA Program. They click. Video Black girls are magic. Their scenes together offer a sweet space where both can allow themselves to be tender, in contrast to the closed-up toughness required in their larger world.
All four are in the frame at the same time. That might be partially true, because of pregnancy, but it is not entirely true. Freedom. A sequence where they dance and lip-synch to Rihanna's "Diamonds" (pictured above) captures the fleeting, ... Girlhood is both realistic about the difficulty of breaking free from your lot, and hopeful regarding Marieme's determination to seek out a better life.
"We Are the Best!" The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. They're part of a community of marginalised minorities living in the rundown Parisian suburbs, and have forged their own alternative family unit as a sanctuary from and defence against domestic abuse, poor prospects, societal assumptions and criminal opportunists. Life is tough out there, and the girls are aware of it.
It's also warm, vital and highly entertaining. "Girlhood" is currently playing in theaters in NYC, L.A. and other select theaters nationwide. In one pivotal scene, they girls pool their money together to rent a hotel room for an improptu pajama party and lip sync to Rihanna's "Diamonds In The Sky.". Sciamma has directed three features thus far: "Water Lilies," "Tomboy," and now "Girlhood" and each one takes on a different sliver of the spectrum of adolescent or pre-adolescent girlhood. They're a sometimes volatile clique, who carry knives and are known for facing off against their peers but they're also loyal, silly, and nowhere near as bad-ass as they seem (best illustrated when one turns on the waterworks during a fraught game of mini-golf). It takes an intuitive and devoted filmmaker like Sciamma to go beneath the surface of "girlhood", to remove the normal trappings, and to look at all of the different forces and influences in play.
There's a sense of exhilaration in the moment, and the four get up and start dancing together to Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” The light is a deep blue, and the girls are jumping and laughing and loving each other's awesomeness for almost the entirety of the song. They don't worry (at least not overtly). The epic slo-mo all-female football game of the opening. What Sciamma is interested in is "moments." These three girls are Lady (the wonderful Assa Sylla), the leader of the pack, and the two humorous underlings, Fily (Mariétou Touré) and Adiatou (Lindsay Karamoh). With her third feature, Sciamma beautifully illustrates both the specificity of growing up on the outskirts of Paris, but also the universal themes of sisterhood and self-love every young woman can relate to. Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!