Movie Review: Though shot in less than 12 years, Girlhood has its own insights about growing up

Girlhood opens on a group of teenage girls playing football. It looks different than so many male-centric versions of this sort of scene, not just because of the players’ gender or because they’re all French rather than American, but the way the scene, backed by a synth-heavy score, feels celebratory rather than mythic or self-serious. The camaraderie doesn’t last, though, at least not in this form. The camera follows the group walking home at night, getting smaller and smaller as more of them break off from the group, until it’s just Marieme (Karidja Touré), making her way back to the apartment she shares with her mother and siblings.

The mother barely appears in the film; her job as an office cleaner leaves her older children splitting the leftover parental duties, with Marieme’s older brother Djibril (Cyril Mendy) taking on a domineering-father role. Living in the projects …

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