Cuties (2020) online

Year: 2020
Genre: Drama / New Movie
Country: France
Time: 1h 36min
Cuties (French: Mignonnes) is a 2020 French coming-of-age drama film written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré in her feature directorial debut. The film stars Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni, Esther Gohourou, Ilanah Cami-Goursolas and Maïmouna Gueye. The plot revolves around a Senegalese-French girl with a traditional Muslim upbringing who is caught between traditional values and Internet culture. The filmmakers claimed that it is intended to criticise the hypersexualisation of pre-adolescent girls. The film premiered in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on 23 January, where Doucouré won the Directing Award. It was released in France on 19 August by BAC Films and internationally on 9 September on Netflix.

While receiving generally positive reviews from critics, the film became a subject of controversy, starting from Netflix's poster of the film. Following heavy criticism online, the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council requested that Netflix remove the film, and Netflix was indicted in the United States for allegedly streaming child pornography. The hashtag #CancelNetflix was also popularized.

Amy, an 11-year-old immigrant girl from Senegal, lives with her mother Mariam and two younger brothers in an apartment in one of Paris's poorest neighbourhoods. She helplessly witnesses her mother suffer as her polygynous husband prepares to return with a second wife. She is also bored with salah and Islamic culture in general that her aunt seeks to impress on her.

Things turn swiftly as Amy is fascinated by her disobedient neighbour Angelica's twerking clique, "Cuties", which is in stark contrast to Mariam's religious customs. The pre-teens practice for a competition and do not hesitate to adopt revealing outfits in the image of their older competitors. Encouraged by success and the quest for recognition on social networks, Amy decides to incorporate sexually suggestive dance moves into the choreography.

Following a humiliation at school, Amy sends a photo of her vulva online, causing her to be ostracised. The Cuties also banned her from performing with them at the dance contest, and replaced her with former member Yasmine. Her mother also scolds her.

While her father's wedding day corresponds the finale at the Parc de la Villette, she is determined to dance with them, and sneaks out of the house. She pushes Yasmine into a canal, so the Cuties have no choice but to allow her to dance with them. The highly suggestive dance routine shocks the audience. Suddenly thinking about her mother during the routine, Amy bursts into tears and leaves before their performance ends.

Upon her return, she runs into her aunt who blames her for her outfit and recent attitude. Amy's mother intervenes by telling her to leave her daughter alone and then hugs her to reassure her. Amy implores her mother to allow Amy to not attend the wedding, in order to demonstrate her disapproval. Amy's mother permits her not to go, but states that she herself must go to fulfill her duty as a wife. Amy then abandons both the traditional wedding dress and her sexy dancer's outfit, and, in jeans and a T-shirt, her hair down, she goes out to play jump rope with a group of girls.
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