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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