Ever since Netflix began promoting one of their newest French films Cuties, the company has been subjected to a slew of backlash. Consumers of the streaming service have called for the movie, which has been described as a coming-of-age tale by director Maïmouna Doucouré, to be removed.
The Sundance winner from earlier this year is about an 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant in France who rebels against her conservative culture by hurling herself into certain extremities of the modern world — social media and sexually provocative dancing — only to find them just as oppressive, according to the LA Times.
‘Cuties’ Director Defends the Film
This is just a piece of LA Times columnist Mary Mcnamara’s take after watching the movie. “I had expected a fairly benign exploration of cultural differences and the seductions of clique culture — ‘Never Have I Ever’ meets ‘Mean Girls.’ What I found was a film about rage. That sudden, inchoate, unidentifiable female fury that rises in so many girls, often self-destructively, when they realize that certain rules are not about protecting them but controlling them.”
However, as Mama Uncut previously reported, the backlash began after Netflix used a promotional poster of the child actors, who star in the movie, wearing midriff tops. At the time a spokesperson for the company issued a statement apologizing for the poster they used.
“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for ‘Cuties.’ It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film, which premiered at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.”
Nonetheless, some consumers didn’t think that was enough and because of the context of the movie, rallied to get the movie completely removed off of Netflix’s platform. Now, the director of the film, Maïmouna Doucouré, is speaking out about why she decided to create such a film.
While talking with The Hollywood Reporter, Doucouré said she was trying to raise awareness about how young girls are treated through her movie, calling it a “real issue.”
“It’s because I saw so many things and so many issues around me lived by young girls, that I decided to make this film and sound an alarm and say, ‘We need to protect our children.’ It’s bold, it’s feminist, but it’s so important and necessary to create debate and try to find solutions, for me as an artist, for politicians and parents.”
Netflix also continues to stand by the movie, calling it “a social commentary against the sexualization of young children.” “It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up – and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”
What are your thoughts on the controversy that surrounds this movie?
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