French film-maker Céline Sciamma’s a lot anticipated coming-of-age drama Girlhood follows Marieme, a teen who, within the face of an oppressive household setting, zero future prospects and imply native streets, falls in with a badass (and generally plain dangerous) gang of women.
Marieme is renamed Vic (quick for Victory) by the remainder of the crew. She modifies her costume code. She straps down her breasts. She turns into more and more androgynous. She hangs powerful.
“I completely perceive the place she is coming from,” says Karidja Touré, who performs Marieme/Vic. “It’s not protected to be a lady when you find yourself within the suburbs of Paris. There are teams of males all over. And if you happen to’re dressed like a Parisian, they name you ‘slut’ and shout at you. If you exit you need to be very cautious what you’re sporting.”
Girlhood – launched as Band de Filles in France – has attracted an excessive amount of consideration for its naturalistic depiction of the banlieues, these less-than-salubrious suburbs on the outskirts of Paris.
“I really like that as we journey with the film, individuals come up and say, ‘This jogs my memory of dwelling in Paris precisely’,” says Touré. “It’s a very real looking movie. I’ve by no means seen a movie prefer it earlier than.”
Touré’s household – together with property agent dad and childcare employee mum – initially got here from the Ivory Coast. She grew up within the fifteenth arrondissement, town’s most densely populated arrondissement, however a pleasant put up code.
“I’m somewhat bit completely different from my character as a result of I’m not from the suburbs,” says Touré. “However I’ve associates and I’ve cousins who stay within the suburbs, so I do know what’s taking place there. And numerous the issues that occur to the character have occurred to me. She is informed she has to go to vocational faculty, not highschool. That occurred to me. She is adopted round outlets by assistants. That occurs to me and my associates on a regular basis.”
Touré was in her first yr of an assistant administration programme when she was noticed on the street by Sciamma’s casting director. “They stated they have been working with Céline Sciamma and requested me if I had heard of her,” says the 20-year-old. “I used to be like, ‘Er, no.’ I wasn’t certain if it was a critical factor. If it was, why have been they strolling as much as individuals on the road? However the casting director was in search of a black actress and we don’t have black actresses in France.”
She’s not flawed. Whereas there are a few rising black stars in French cinema – akin to 35 Pictures of Rum’s Tony Mpoudja or The Intouchable’s Omar Sy – black girls are hardly ever represented on French screens. Tellingly, and reasonably sadly, Touré had little or no contact with French cinema earlier than making Girlhood.
“After I was rising up I by no means watched French films, as a result of I by no means noticed a French movie and thought, that might be my character within the film,” she says. “I solely watched American films. I don’t know any French actors. I knew [Girlhood] was an vital movie for that purpose. I hope different administrators will see our movie and might be extra open to casting black actors.”
Earlier than the shoot, the “gang” members – together with Assa Sylla’s “Girl”, Lindsay Karamoh’s Adiatou and Mariétou Touré’s Fily – lived collectively for 3 weeks with a purpose to get the alchemy proper. The director grew to become the gang’s fifth member as they workshopped the script. “By the point we began capturing, it felt like we all know one another a very long time.”
Girlhood has already claimed a hatful of awards and has introduced its star across the worldwide pageant circuit. She just lately learn for Storm within the newest X-Males reboot.
“Once we did this movie, we used to speak about what would occur,” she says. “The movie will come out and we’ll perhaps must do interviews and perhaps go to screenings. However I by no means imagined I’d be going everywhere in the world. I’m very, very completely happy.”
Girlhood is launched Could eighth