TIFF Next Wave: Girlhood
Shine bright like a diamond.
The film The Perks of Being a Wallflower mentions the power of the perfect song accompanied by the right moment where time stops, and we are infinite.
However, The Perks of Being a Wallflower perfectly captures the feeling of the song and the moment, it takes a film like Girlhood to actually capture it. The scene with the David Bowie song ‘Heroes’ and the bridge was fairly ho-hum, but in Girlhood, there is a moment where Marieme, (the amazing Karidja Touré) is with her new group of friends, (though should be appropriately wary of them), and the room is lit up in blue, and the track that Céline Sciamma chooses to accompany the scene, Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’, which features the girls singing along to the track, and it is clear that they do not quite understand the meaning of the words as they are French, but they are perfectly copacetic when it comes to the essence of the song, and the natural music and the light of the room and the tone captures an absolutely perfect moment, it is such a chill scene, perhaps the most memorable of the year.
There are other scenes in Girlhood that are almost as powerful, (a montage at the beginning of big burly American football players reveals a shocking surprise, a miniature golf sequence, some parts where the protagonists are walking away, make Girlhood half of a perfect film. Sadly, the second half seeks to incorporate a strange plot of Marieme taking on the alias of Vic and venturing further into gang life simply does not shine as brightly as part one does.
But some of the moments of the film are absolute diamonds in Girlhood’s rough edges.