Maïmouna Doucouré’s Cuties is a coming-of-age film that has been mistaken for underage sexualization due to Netflix’s botched promotion. It is uncomfortable to watch eleven-year-old girls dancing erotically in their skimpy outfit, but that is the point Doucouré tries to make.
Amy (Fathia Youssouf), an eleven-year-old Senegalese, has the responsibility of looking after her two younger brothers and she must obey the Muslim tradition. Her father is about to marry a second wife and his first wife and kids must welcome them back into their house with a wedding celebration. Amy rebels her family by joining the dance group. She befriends Angelica (Médina El Aidi-Azouni) who is the group’s leader with the resemblance of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Because her parents always busy working at the restaurant, Angelica is left on her own and she is troublesome.
It is about immigrant children growing up in housing apartments. With lack of support from teachers and guidance from parents, they get their influence from the pop culture. It is an eye-opening film that reminds me of Larry Clark’s Kids in the 90s. I hope that Netfilx is not going to pull it.