Maïmouna Doucouré writes and directs the French-African film debuting September 9
The Sundance drama “Cuties” is a coming-of-age story about a girl from Senegal, but her story is a universal one that shows that we’d all rather dance than have to grow up and face the world.
Netflix picked up the inspiring film “Cuties” out of Sundance from director and writer Maïmouna Doucouré after it won the Directing Award in the World Cinema Dramatic category at the festival earlier this year.
In “Cuties,” an 11-year-old girl from Senegal Amy tries to escape family dysfunction by joining a free-spirited dance clique named “Cuties.” The group stands in stark contrast to her mother’s traditional values, and she soon becomes aware of her own femininity well beyond her years through dance. She soon inspires the girls to embrace more sensual dance moves as part of their routine even as she begins to face the realities of growing up, and they hope to twerk their way to stardom at a local dance contest.
Doucouré spoke to TheWrap at this year’s Sundance and explained how growing up in France with traditional parents from Senegal made her want to explore in “Cuties” the question of whether we should “have the right to choose which women we can be in this world.”
“In our culture, even today, I can say I’m not totally free,” Doucouré said. “Because I love to wear short dresses and at the same time, when I go to a religious ceremony, I wear a veil. Just choose as a woman: who do you want to be?”
“Cuties” stars Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi, Esther Gohourou, Ilanah, Myriam Hamma, Demba Diaw, Maïmouna Gueye and Therese M’Bissine Diop and is produced by Zangro.
Netflix will debut “Cuties” on September 9. Watch the first trailer above.
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