So, finally, I watched the movie that started #cancelnetflix.
Mignonnes or Cuties, a French film, won accolades at the Sundance premiere but condemned on Netflix. Doucouré, director of the film, received the Dramatic Directing Award (World Cinema) for the portrayal of a child drawn between two cultures. One within the home while another on social media.
The film focuses on an 11-year-old raised in a traditional Senegalese Muslim household, and mostly finds herself torn between conventional family values and today’s Internet culture, which does not turn a blind eye on the hyper-sexualization of young women. To society, a woman anyway is a walking temptress overwhelmed with unrealistic standards to put up with.
At one point, I appreciate Doucouré’s attempt to expand on the effects of social media on children. But then again, making 11-year-olds dance suggestively and purposely zooming up on their crotches and talking about sex and rape is just distasteful when children playing these characters are oblivious to everything the movie turned out to advocate. On top of it, releasing a poster — of four 11-year-old girls in full makeup, scanty costumes, and come-forth expressions — is an open invitation to pedophiles. It’s here where I find the plot darkening as it sexualized girls to fulfill the needs of a pedophile. My mind goes…WHAT.THE.FUCK.
But do you know, Doucouré said, she was inspired to create a film by the similar performance of the actual 11-year-old girls — which shows, no matter how many rules we create or the parental guards we set up, are vulnerable to the most exploitative aspects of the digital era. And, we didn’t need a whole sick movie to spread that idea further.
To see children who know little about sex and even very little about their own bodies twerking and oblivious to the sense of the movements is a plea for compulsory sex education.
Overall, this uncomfortable, thoughtless, unfiltered film just makes no sense. No matter how justified the social message or influences of social media are, it is downright sick to make children act like that for everyone to see.
Could the indignation have been reduced if the characters were 14 or 16 or older? Perhaps, but that is even more troubling — adolescence is an extensive and freckled experience, with as many entry points as there are children.
In conclusion, I feel that we live in a world where women and children are exposed to all kinds of violence—abuse, slavery, prostitution—making it all the clearer that it is not acceptable to watch over the top hyper-sexualization of children in any way. “Cuties” is an open invitation to pedophiles and even justifies it.
We can’t humanly control everything that goes around us. But we can surely stop the spread of such messages via movies where offenders feel justified in defiling a child. And, say, they got excited seeing little girls gyrate to loud music in skimpy clothing!
P.S. Encourage nothing that glorifies the pornification of girls and young women by any means; it is completely off the mark and a false promise of sexual liberty. Some scenes are gruesomely uncomfortable to watch. Stand against the pedophilia. #saveourchildren