ohmylol (ohmylol) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
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Toronto: 'Cuties’ Director Says Film doesn't Hyper-Sexualize Young Girls: "It's a Real Issue"



Cuties (Mignonnes) director Maïmouna Doucoure has defended her French indie film on Netflix from accusations that it hyper-sexualizes girls, because according to her, the film aimed at social commentary and change:

"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,'" Doucouré told a TIFF panel on French filmmakers Monday.

In Cuties, a preteen girl leaves her senegalese family background so she can fit in by joining a group of dancers (who are also little girls) as tradition and teenage rebellion collide.

"It's bold, its 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. It's a real issue," the director argued.

"It's important to see someone like you on the screen, and to grow up with a lot of possibilities. So, of course, diversity and inclusion have to be the keys to progress in our cinema," she argued.

Netflix in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter defended Cuties as "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."

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You didn't need to sexualize real little girls in order to prove a point though. We didn't need visuals.
Exactly. There are plenty or 18+ year olds that could pass for 11-13.
That would still be crossing a line for me
The visuals are actually very minimal. And the Director has also said she did not have the girls film the dance scene from start to finish. She made sure the break the filming into sections to protect them and she had a child psychologist on set.

colorheartsgrey

1 month ago

forrealdoh

1 month ago

She could really help her own case if she would elaborate on how the young actresses were protected on set-- if they were at all

zeysech

September 15 2020, 16:55:40 UTC 1 month ago Edited:  September 15 2020, 17:09:22 UTC

She's talked about it in other interviews

Doucouré said she “created a climate of trust between the children and myself” during filming, adding, “I explained to them everything I was doing and the research that I had done before I wrote this story. I was also lucky that these girls’ parents were also activists, so we were all on the same side. At their age, they’ve seen this kind of dance. Any child with a telephone can find these images on social media these days.”

“However, these were composite shots, so the girls weren’t dancing like that all the time,” the director continued. “We also worked with a child psychologist throughout the filming. She’s still working with the children, because I want to make sure that they can navigate this newfound stardom.”



I do believe she's concerned with the welfare of her child actors and she's trying to make sure they're okay. However, I kind of also think that maybe we need to rethink if it's even worth the risk of having child actors, given how like negatively being a child star can impact them, even when they're not acting in things like this.
I work in TV, and we are never going to get rid of child actors. We should have a lot more oversight on it, for sure, but ultimately, children belong to their parents and if the parent wants to bring them to auditions and shoots and collect a check for their kid's labor...it's gonna keep happening. We can't just not tell stories about children, or cast adults to play them, that would be even stranger.

Not every child actor ends up being preyed upon in Hollywood. I know plenty of child actors who grew up doing theater and children's TV, and they're basically fine. It's the kids who are thrown onto adult sets doing mature programming that I really worry about. It's not right for a kid to spend hours a day working with just adults, no other kids.

zeysech

1 month ago

Did she also inform the young girls that they would most definitely end up on pedophile sites??

Composite shots my ass. It's not like they had a puppeteer doing the sexualized moves, it was still the damn girls. And having a child psychologist?? So what? Children still won't understand what's happening because that's the goddamn problem in the first place!!

I so wanted her to be vindicated, but she is so many levels of stupid.

zeysech

1 month ago

eldvno

1 month ago

zeysech

1 month ago

Or you could do your own research because she HAS talked about. I did and that's how I found out the truth about this movie instead of jumping on the outrage bandwagon.
i don't think anyone is denying that the hyper-sexualization of young girls exists, people are upset that the scenes meant to explore or critique this sexualization are shot in a very objectifying and demeaning way, placing young girls in a very dangerous situation. there's no reason those dance scenes should've been shot with zoom ins and lingering shots
yes that's exactly how I feel. I understand what she's trying to do here but how the shots were framed made me very uncomfortable.
I was willing to give the movie the benefit of the doubt before it was released. Not watch it, but at least read some reviews. Then the clips started popping up on twitter and now that the reviews are out it's obvious that it just *failed* at its stated objective and in fact began to do the very things the director is so adamantly against. She fucked up and won't admit it.
If you actually watch the ENTIRE movie, you would learn that it actually does succeed in her intentions.
Exactly. I've seen people defend this movie by saying that this kind of dancing happens in real life, but real life doesn't zoom in on a child's body. That's a choice that the director made.
You bring attention to child exploitation by exploiting children??? Fuck off
Okay but maybe don't sexualize actual young girls??

msbombtastic

September 15 2020, 16:41:13 UTC 1 month ago Edited:  September 15 2020, 16:41:53 UTC

no no no no no no no no. the media is not going to pressure me into normalizing this pedophile shit. leave kids alone ffs.

I was with a friend who was watching family guy on netflix (not my thing) but there was one episode where there were so many "jokes" about children that were quite frankly disturbing to me. Call me a prude or whatever the hell you want but I don't want to see this shit, I almost don't want any children in TV/movies at this point.
the media is not going to pressure me into normalizing this pedophile shit.
this has been normalized though lol. children pageants; children dance competitions and young girls as cheerleaders have been standard parts of us mainstream culture for decades.
children pageants are honestly disturbing.


another creepy american "culture" is hard to understand.
Family Guy and American Dad have normalized so much vile shit, and I hate they're both still so popular. I tried to get back into AD because I have memories of enjoying it when I was younger, but they just had an ep premiere last week where [Spoiler (click to open)]Steve, a teen boy, got addicted to his mother's breastmilk and began drinking from her breast. They tried to play the "these people are freaks" card but it was so disgusting and unnecessary, especially in this climate

msbombtastic

1 month ago

@Netflix, "it's an award winning film" is not really an argument. just because it won an award doesn't mean it's unobjectionable. plenty of damaging trash has won awards. rapists have won awards. so what
esp when you consider that one of the cofounders of Sundance was sentenced to 6 years for pedophilia just last year

syvlie0o0

September 15 2020, 17:27:30 UTC 1 month ago Edited:  September 15 2020, 17:32:26 UTC

LMFAO what is this fucking QAnon garbage comment? People are going fucking wild in these Cuties posts. No wonder young women are being pulled into this QAnon psychosis.

pixiegerms

1 month ago

azaelers

1 month ago

syvlie0o0

1 month ago

There are valid criticism of how the dance scenes were filmed but as a whole they do show how the adults act horrified or negatively.

compared to dance moms where only one mom seems concerned and yet still seems to let her daughter dance

This was disturbing

howthedaysounds

September 15 2020, 16:56:33 UTC 1 month ago Edited:  September 15 2020, 16:57:00 UTC

Jesus fucking christ (oops sorry this was meant to me a reply to the top comment)
OMG I just kept cringing and shaking my head. LET THEM BE KIDS
Lifetime needs the same treatment.
this is why i'm annoyed by the coverage of cuties. the selective outrage is something else. dance moms has been on air for how many years now? and you're gonna act like this film is so damn scandalous by American standards and anyone who defends the film is a pedo? please, miss me with it.

justfortheplot

1 month ago

colorfilm

1 month ago

Was the talking head mom's daughter actually in the dance group? I mean, even if she said she didn't want people seeing it, if her daughter was in it, then...

This is so... perturbing. The song choice. The outfits. The choreography. The audience.

madamezuzu

1 month ago

ohmylol

1 month ago

I know Toddlers & Tiaras and Dance Moms (to a lesser degree) have always been subject to criticism, but that they both ran for years anyway really does call into question the American politicians who are going after Cuties. What can they really do about this already completed French film in comparison to these shows that were literally filmed and developed in their jurisdictions?
The choreo in this Dance Moms dance is tame compared to the competition scene in Cuties...
Even on ONTD there are people who religiously watched this show, and are pining for it to return. I even called that out in the last post about this movie and someone gave this whole long comment about how "akshually this was only one routine, ok!!!!!!!"

cuddar

1 month ago

syvlie0o0

1 month ago

It's pathetic how this movie is scandalous but this dance culture is considered normal on the US. Like, "Dance Moms" has LITERALLY been considered mainstream family entertainment in the US/world for DECADES and besides Abby whatever being batshit, no one ever objected against how hyper sexualized this world is. High school/middle school cheerleader culture in the US? Totally normal too. It's funny ppl decided to latch on it specifically against this movie as if the culture isn't fucked up as a whole.

hardto_remember

1 month ago

triviagogo29

1 month ago

triviagogo29

1 month ago

1)These girls would've looked just as fine with leggings or a leotard or anything that covers them more. Just as fine!
2) I will never respect these mothers who pimped their daughters for exposure. All of them are trash and should be shamed. Holly can cry about how racist and abusive Abby Lee was all she wants, SHE still happily cashed the checks for years.
3) The girls aren't even in sync and that choreography is terrible. It's just pure shock value! For that same level of energy, they could've had something better and age-appropriate.

elderpricely

1 month ago

emu

September 15 2020, 18:14:16 UTC 1 month ago Edited:  September 15 2020, 18:15:09 UTC

I will never understand how they got away with this show. Toddlers and Tiaras is another one.
The fucking title of the movie automatically makes it sound sexualized before even reading a synopsis.
I agree. title was a bad choice. even Kids and Thirteen went with bland straight forward titles.
I watched the trailer for this and I was so uncomfortable. I felt like I was doing something wrong just by watching that. No idea how people can watch the whole movie.
But why did the dance scenes have to be filmed in that way? Those dances being done by little girls is shocking enough without having to constantly zoom in on them like that.
I watched ReadytoGlare on YT talk about this movie and I did not know there was a scene of the main character Amy taking a photo of her vagina and posting it online? As an attempt to silence the bullying she got from someone getting a photo of an upskirt of her or something? Like...
I'm always bothered by scenes of kids stage dancing in films, and the clips I've seen of this movie are pretty bad.

I understand she wanted to make a movie about an issue, but I think she went about it the wrong way, either because of inexperience or being too close to the subject. You don't need to shoot those scenes that way to get the point across.
from what i've read and the horrible clip i saw, the main issue here is how the film was edited (or perhaps, not edited). the premise is solid, but when your call to arms turns into the kind of substance a predator could use for their own nefarious intent, there's clearly room for improvement.
I watched a clip where the main character is having some sort of freak out in the floor, and is sweating and shaking and moving her body up and down. From all angles. It easily looked like she was riding a man having sex. It made me feel sicker than the dance clip. This movie should be burned.
Oh, then you're REALLY not going to like when I tell you that this was an exorcism, being performed because her mother wanted the "demon" leading her become part of the dance team to be put out of her.

I'm not kidding.
Oh 🤮🤮🤮
Actually that's the scene where she is faking having a demon be exorcised from her during a forced baptism.
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