The main characters, the young girls of 11 years old, moved like dancers twerk that one sees in the video clips of contemporary pop. Minishorts-fitting, tank-tops, above the navel, makeup, poses, acrobatic, and sexy... These are cute to both attendrissantes of innocence and shocking. Imaging fed to the social networks that Maïmouna Doucoure husks without judgment.
The new recruit of this small band called "cute" is named Amy, for Aminata. She has just moved into a popular district of Paris with his mom and his little brother. To integrate into the new college, to break free of his environment is a traditional family and religious, she trains for hours, hidden from the eyes of his mother, in the hope of joining the cheerful group.
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The portrait of a young girl torn between two cultures
"the idea for The film came to me while I was attending a block party in the 19th district, the same is changing the character of Amy," says the filmmaker, herself a native of this part of the city. Very young girls are made to dance on stage and not lascivious. I thought back to my own childhood, when I was thinking about my feminine side emerging, " says this daughter of the parents are senegalese. As the main character of his film, Cute, Maïmouna Doucoure has grown up between two cultures. And as that young girl in the throes of an identity crisis, the question of the choice was quickly made to it. "The film is above all the portrait of a young girl torn between two female models as a priori any objects. Models that come, however, point to the different types of oppressions suffered by women, " explains the young mother.
on one side, we find these girls biberonnées to the culture of the like, and appearance, been obfuscated by the desire to grow too fast to look like their icons 2.0 and respect in the playground. And on the other, the mother moving within a fireplace, a muslim, resigned to making a good figure before the arrival of a coépouse in the family.
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The weight of social traditions
In 2017, Maïmouna Doucoure had received the césar for the best short film for Mom(s). Here, she (2nd from the left) is in the company of the actress, Sokhna Diallo and his producer Zangro. © THOMAS SAMSON / AFP
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The paint film to a companionship societal
Maïmouna Doucoure has been awarded at Sundance, in Utah, in the United States, in February 2020 for the film Cute. © Rich Fury / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
It is, however, without manichaeism, and without to oppose a muslim society, locked up in its traditions, and its modesty and a western company released that Maïmouna Doucoure depicts this thirst for emancipation that motivates his character. Thanks to a set of mirrors rather clever, it makes before any account of the correspondences which exist between the two cultures, which are each subject to their own contradictions. One of the scenes most iconic of the film is to highlight the parallelism : this is the one where Amy, in a rite of exorcism, enduring a choreography close to the trance... But also close to the swaying that she produced with classmates. "These rituals exist in all cultures, and of the catholic religion in the vaudouisme. They testify to the idea that we can't be responsible for our actions, and that a spirit is bound to come stay in us. It is to deny the part of free will that there is in each of us, especially the children that is necessary for their learning, " says Maïmouna Doucoure.
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A necessary work of pedagogy
If there is a common point between the two societies portrayed in the film, it is the culture of avoidance. The cute breed pictures gleaned on the Internet and repeat words without measurement. And to live their puberty without any real support. "I don't like to use the word taboo, but it is true that there are many, many, and in all cultures. In Africa, particularly in Senegal, the phenomenon of the hypersexualization of youth-driven applications on a smartphone and clips also exists. I think that the policies and the education system must work together to perform this work of pedagogy, judge the filmmaker, who presented his film at the prestigious Sundance in front of an international audience. "Cute creates the debate between parents and teens, seniors and new generation come from all walks of life. Because it is a universal movie, " says Maïmouna Doucoure.
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