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It's sad that the discussion of this film has centered around the social media outrage machine.  There, that's out of the way. 

This is a very good film overall, especially considering it's a debut feature for both the director and lead actor.  Between this film and Ladj Ly's Les Miserables, I hope these are signs we'll be hearing from more non-white voices in French cinema.  This film explores so many boundary zones - between cultures, between religion and secularism, between girlhood and womanhood - and does so intelligently.

Here's my full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2020/09/dont-let-the-alarmists-deter-you-from-watching-cuties/

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good review, Andrew.

I decided to wade into the controversy and film as well.

https://catholiccinephile.wordpress.com/2020/09/21/cuties-aka-mignonnes/

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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Nicely done.  I think you're right - film viewers do not like to be uncomfortable or deal with nuance, on the whole.  Hopefully it won't happen to you, but probably best to brace yourself for a backlash; my write-up on Patheos is the first time I received a death threat for a review.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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Alissa Wilkinson and Aja Romano discuss/review the film and the reactions against it on Vox:

Quote

Instead of discussing the content of the film, people who don’t seem to have watched it are spreading the message that the whole thing is “child porn,” created for and now being marketed directly to pedophiles. If you’ve seen Cuties, you know how absurd that supposition is — but it’s not helping that people are also spreading around clips of the film divorced from their context, similar to what happened with the initial Netflix poster.

 

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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As I recall, Wilkinson felt a couple of the scenes went too far in their sexualized dance moves.  She may be right, though Jessica and I didn't think so.  But the dishonesty of the social media backlash has been appalling - I haven't watched any of the clips Wilkinson and Romano mentioned, but I understand one of the most-viewed ones makes a scene where two of the girls eat gummi bears seem sexual, which it definitely is not within the film.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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