You may have heard the name Maïmouna Doucouré recently surrounding the buzz around her latest film, “Cuties”. Doucouré, a black female director from France, claimed that her goal was to portray some of the social struggles that young girls face while navigating through their preteens. The budget of the film was set at four million and the film’s release was in January of 2020. Since the film’s release, it has gotten fewer positive reviews than negative ones. The movie has gotten such bad press that parents have started advocating for the removal of the film from Netflix. Parents are very vocal about the fact that they believe the film went too far, prompting the hashtag #CancelNetflix. The movie currently has 1.8/10 stars on IMDB and generated $464,572 at the box office. The movie, “Cuties” monotonously used unsettling imagery to inappropriately sexualize girls.
Any one who has watched this film could conclude that majority of the existing scenes did not have symbolism at all. It is imperative to remember that there are audiences of all types watching this film. Showcasing suggestive dance moves, and still shots of inappropriate places was the downfall of this film. The movie is overly sexual from the makeup to clothing choices for the minors. In particular, the exorcism scene which included Amy twerking with wet spots on her underwear from holy water. The scene lasted much longer than it should have which leads me to question the directors motives. It was simply too much. What began as jumping, then turned into an uncomfortable scene. On the other hand, I did like Doucouré’s illumination of the dangers that lie in wait on the internet. For example, the scene where Amy’s friend was exposed as a child with a fake profile while talking to an older boy. Highlighting the safety and precaution that should be taken when it comes to talking to strangers on the internet deserves attention in a social media driven society.
Moreover, children will not interpret this movie in a way of progressive behavior. Doucouré’s film attempted to glamorize negative behavior instead of shunning it appropriately. You can not fight pedophilia by committing it. In addition, we can all relate to the scene where Amy pulls her hijab over her head during a group prayer meeting and secretly watches a dance video underneath. We also know that most children have short attention spans when it comes to religious practices. More progressive scenes like the one described would have saved the movie. I agree with the parents who are in an uproar. I watched the film and I was not amused. There is no room in this world for films such as “Cuties.” This is not art, it is exploitation. Scrutiny is necessary when it comes to this film because once this film is banned, Hollywood needs to ban all films that exploit children starting from early years. There are several parts of this film that do not explain blatant camera angles that capture the private areas of minors. Multiple scenes of gyrating, and humping the floor, crotch shots of eleven year old’s dancing in shorts.. The movie is a complete utter disgust. Every scene in this film depicted little girls wearing cropped shirts, even to school.. What school would allow these children to dress this way? Although the movie sucked, there are some highlights that I think are worth discussing…
The strength that women have to show case – Amy’s mother was unhappy throughout the film because her husband had taken on a second wife. The audience gets a chance to witness the intimate scenes of Amy hiding under mother’s bed and eavesdropping on her moms conversation. Amy’s mother was forced to call her friends to tell them of her husbands new wife in order to avoid embarrassment. Amy’s mother was in tears making phone calls, then goes on to hiding her tears, and pretending to be fine when they answered the phone. Although she was hurting, she was forced to put on a fake smile and display strength in the name of her reputation.
The responsibilities young girls have to take on at an early age– In an earlier scene, Amy took her newborn sibling and baby brother to the grocery store without her parents. Just imagine seeing an eleven year old accompanied by a newborn baby, and a younger sibling in the store alone. I’m sure you’d be wondering, “Where are their parents?” “Why are the children grocery shopping alone at such a young age?” -Thats a mothers duty. Which leads to the next discussion point…
The lack of child supervision– The little girls were constantly in the alley dancing in crop shirts and booty shorts to loud music, unsupervised. Another example of the lack of child supervision shown in the film–Look at how long it took for Amy’s mother to find out that Amy had a cell phone. Amy also had a secret social media account in which she posted an inappropriate photo of her most intimate body part on. What was even more sickening to watch was Amy’s attempt to have sex for a cell phone in the film. The blatant showcase of irresponsibility sends the message that little girls have to have sex in order to get what they want.Where were the actor’s parents when these kids were biting their lips and index fingers on camera?
Set better examples for young women—Children in the film were coping everything that they saw on their phones. As a whole, our generational has to do better when it comes to what we are promoting. From actors, to directors, rappers etc. Children need better examples to look up too. Children are sponges and they are mimicking the things that they are exposed to.