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The trick is not minding
If the filmmakers wanted to explore the sexualization of children, why not make a documentary on the topic instead of...sexualizing children in your fictionalized story? It's not like these are older girls playing younger kids like they usually do, these are simply 11 year old kids. I dunno. I haven't seen the flick, doubt I'll watch it though.
I fail to see how it would have made any difference. Either way it explores the sexualization of adolescent girls, only one is fictional.
I get the issue is using young girls to portray it, and it makes people uncomfortable, but that’s probably the point.
Dance troupes for younger girls often are guilty of such things, and the movie is perhaps asking what effect it has on them as a result while also holding a magnifying glass towards the society That does so.



So you’re saying you’d rather see actual footage of it rather then fictional footage......
Of course. Why wouldn’t I? It makes way more sense than fictionalizing it and making girls do it all over again just to make a statement. I see no need for a feature film like that.

There’s plenty of disturbingly weird stuff going on already on full display about children being put in make up, walking catwalks and making suggestive dance moves. You don’t need to recreate it. And you don’t need to set it up. It’s already happening. To me it’s way more powerful to uncover that than just to make up a story yourself inspired by those types of things.

These people find what they are doing completely normal. I would love somebody to actually dig down into that twisted world and make people see what is already happening but not enough people know of or really understand enough.



The trick is not minding
Of course. Why wouldn’t I? It makes way more sense than fictionalizing it and making girls do it all over again just to make a statement. I see no need for a feature film like that.

There’s plenty of disturbingly weird stuff going on already on full display about children being put in make up, walking catwalks and making suggestive dance moves. You don’t need to recreate it. And you don’t need to set it up. It’s already happening. To me it’s way more powerful to uncover that than just to make up a story yourself inspired by those types of things.

These people find what they are doing completely normal. I would love somebody to actually dig down into that twisted world and make people see what is already happening but not enough people know of or really understand enough.
I understand what you’re saying now. *
I agree that a doc would really be interesting, but I don’t think it would matter either way.
If people are offended by a fictional portrayal, I’d imagine they’d be even more offended by the real thing




Facebook is the modern version of villagers wanting to burn witches at the stake.
As expected, the presentation of the movie by haters is completely off. I presume that the vast majority of these people haven't seen the film but have formed their opinion based on a poor marketing campaign and the hate videos. I guess people need their hysteria.

I wonder how low IQ is needed to see the film as praise to pedophilia, though (and I'm not even talking about these girls being pubescent)? Yes, Cuties has (a lot of) provocative material that's meant to make the viewer uncomfortable. It's about being a kid in a world where media/entertainment is so saturated with sex (and its conflict with a conservative Muslim background). The girls in the movie do nothing else than replicate what they see in their magazines, music videos, etc. It rubs this "children imitating the mainstream entertainment" imagery against the viewer's face quite relentlessly but leaves the conclusions to the viewer (good film making to me).

Cuties wants to say something. It needs its imagery to relay the message. I firmly believe that the people most enraged by it are the ones who feel seduced or aroused by those images, and want to blame anything but themselves of that troubling realization.
^ Well said, I agree with both of these replies concerning this matter.



If people are offended by a fictional portrayal, I’d imagine they’d be even more offended by the real thing
Perhaps. But that would only be great. At least they would be offended like “this is disgusting that this is actually going on in our world” instead of talking more about the fact that someone made a movie with underage actresses. That seems to be what most are upset about. That they made a movie like this. It kind of clouds the important subject matter, which wouldn’t be the case with a doc because their disgust or anger would be directly about actual footage and actual people in actual contests and whatnot. It would be a discussion about the real thing. The real problem. Not the movie talking about the problem through fiction.

Most of the comments on the dance video on YouTube is about how the director has the camera lingering on their butts and the likes. About how the director made the movie look. Again, if I want to I can definitely understand what the director tries to do. But to me it seems like the discussion and/or backlash this movie is getting is not as channeled and focused as it could and should have been and thereby tells me the director didn’t really get the full potential out of the subject matter awareness with his movie.



Please Quote/Tag Or I'll Miss Your Responses
I've been following this for a few days.. I don't understand the double-standards. One minute, one group complains about women being exploited, but this same group doesn't seem to care that little girls are being exploited. I would never watch this garbage. But I'm not a person who wants anything I don't like canceled; I just wish there was better taste, and better movies, but I'm not holding my breath.



كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
Soooooooo this is quite the hot Potato at the moment, setting the Internet on fire. What are MoFo thoughts?

"Cuties (French: Mignonnes) is a 2020 French coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by French-Senegalese Maïmouna Doucouré in her feature directorial debut. The film stars Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni, Esther Gohourou, Ilanah Cami-Goursolas and Maïmouna Gueye. The plot revolves around a French-Senegalese girl with a traditional Muslim upbringing who is caught between traditional values and Internet culture. According to the filmmakers, the film is intended to criticise the hypersexualisation of pre-adolescent girls"

I for one won't be watching as it's not something I find particularly interesting, and I don't like the thought of me, a 36 year old man sat at home watching some 11 year old's dance about in a somewhat sexual way.

However I do think the rage mob is going a bit over the top, but is their rage justified? I can't work it out.
People are acting like the film has 6 year old children performing sexual acts on adults, full nudity and everything.

It's absurd. Irregardless of if the film is in bad taste or not.
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Still kicking and it hurts.



كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
Cuties isn't even the name of the film. America is quite possibly the dumbest country in the world. There is exactly one t*t in the film. One. And it's not clear how old the girl was because she was in a video the main girls were watching. All I can say is... if this is what it's like for kids today. Especially girls? Wow.
Clickbait culture dude. I think it's largely the poster that they used for US audiences.

People choose rage and loose their sh1t over the stupidist things



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Well when it comes to people asking for Netflix to be shut down as a result of this movie, I talked about the movie with a friend of mine, who is in the modeling business and knows more about this stuff. I am not denying any exploitation of children and I agree that it is, based on the trailers and clips I have seen.

However, my friend says that since the movie is about a dance competition, that these dance competitions for 11 year olds exist in real life, and that she doesn't understand why people think of the movie as exploitation, but people have been totally okay with exploiting children in these dance competitions for years, and no one has ever tried to get people to boycott and cancel the real dance competitions.

So she says that people are being double standard-ish on it as a result, since it's okay to watch in a contest, but not in a movie, if she has a point?



I haven't seen Cuties, but it sounds like it might be wrapping it's awareness message in a self serving sensationalized wrapper....doing just what it warns against, so as to turn a buck.

I wonder how Cuties compares to the infamous Child Bride (1938) a film that presented itself as a social warning message about the dangers of child brides in rural parts of America, while 'treating' the audiences to a peep show of a 12 year old girl who's topless in one scene.



I wonder how Cuties compares to the infamous Child Bride (1938) a film that presented itself as a social warning message about the dangers of child brides in rural parts of America, while 'treating' the audiences to a peep show of a 12 year old girl who's topless in one scene.
I don't think there's that much comparison between the two (except the overblown reactions to both). Child Bride doesn't leave much for the viewer to think (if you accept its actually against the child marriages, it puts its message in plain words) while Cuties shows the world as it is (at least according to the movie) and wants the viewer to reach conclusion on their own.

And like @ironpony above said, Cuties brings to screen something that's already out there and hasn't caused much outrage until shown on Netflix fiction. It's not exploitative in the same sense as Child Bride's side boop or bare-butted swimming of a pre-teen girl. And both of these movies are way less daring than the full nudity of Brooke Shields in Pretty Baby (I obviously don't have issues with any of them, I try to be consistent with my defense of freedom of speech/art).
__________________



The trick is not minding
Perhaps. But that would only be great. At least they would be offended like “this is disgusting that this is actually going on in our world” instead of talking more about the fact that someone made a movie with underage actresses. That seems to be what most are upset about. That they made a movie like this. It kind of clouds the important subject matter, which wouldn’t be the case with a doc because their disgust or anger would be directly about actual footage and actual people in actual contests and whatnot. It would be a discussion about the real thing. The real problem. Not the movie talking about the problem through fiction.

Most of the comments on the dance video on YouTube is about how the director has the camera lingering on their butts and the likes. About how the director made the movie look. Again, if I want to I can definitely understand what the director tries to do. But to me it seems like the discussion and/or backlash this movie is getting is not as channeled and focused as it could and should have been and thereby tells me the director didn’t really get the full potential out of the subject matter awareness with his movie.
Absolutely agree with you. It seems to be an issue of people simply “clutching their pearls”.
Maybe the director , a woman btw which hardly matters but should still be pointed out, could have not lingered on these scenes, but I get her point of doing so.
I’m rarely offended of such matters, and despite having not seen it, can’t help but feel too many are judging it by the Poster and subject matter before having even watched it. Preconceived notions and all that.
It’s probably meant to make people uncomfortable, as I mentioned previously, because the director wants to shine a light on how the girls are sexualized at an early age during these dance troupes. Uncomfortable with it? Sure, but if they’re so uncomfortable with it, rather then attack the messenger, why not go after the industry portrayed?



Let's start with the boundaries:

Does everyone agree it can be potentially reasonable to depict a disturbing/bad thing in order to expose it, and therefore prevent more of it in the long run?

Similarly, does everyone agree that, in doing the above, you can depict too much of it? Especially when, in this case, the depiction is itself an example of the thing, IE: depicting animal cruelty is not engaging in it, but depicting pre-pubescent kids dancing suggestively is itself an example of the thing it's trying to stop.



The trick is not minding
Let's start with the boundaries:

Does everyone agree it can be potentially reasonable to depict a disturbing/bad thing in order to expose it, and therefore prevent more of it in the long run?

Similarly, does everyone agree that, in doing the above, you can depict too much of it? Especially when, in this case, the depiction is itself an example of the thing, IE: depicting animal cruelty is not engaging in it, but depicting pre-pubescent kids dancing suggestively is itself an example of the thing it's trying to stop.
Yes and yes.
I haven’t watched it yet, so I can’t say for sure if this film quite falls in the second category yet.



It amazes me how many people are making conclusions - either against or in defense of - this movie without having actually seen it. I don't understand why people are so up in arms about the movie itself. Every comment or video I've seen from someone who has been outraged has been someone who hasn't seen the movie or only watched a few minutes. It's ridiculous. I do get why people have a problem with the image that Netflix chose to use originally (which is NOT the official film poster), though.



Let's start with the boundaries:

Does everyone agree it can be potentially reasonable to depict a disturbing/bad thing in order to expose it, and therefore prevent more of it in the long run?
Yup.
Similarly, does everyone agree that, in doing the above, you can depict too much of it? Especially when, in this case, the depiction is itself an example of the thing, IE: depicting animal cruelty is not engaging in it, but depicting pre-pubescent kids dancing suggestively is itself an example of the thing it's trying to stop.
Yup again.

I think Ironpony is onto something with this thought from one of his post:
Well as far as the idea is that the audience is uncomfortable with the movies truth, a couple of reviews for it, said that they have no problem with the subject matter and the story, it's just why show the dirty dancing and twirking butts in close up shots... Could that be it then? If they decided to show it in a wide shot, and not move the camera in close, that would have made all the difference?
I can see what you're saying...it's not the subject matter per say, but how the director chooses to frame it.

I've not seen the movie so I have no idea what the director does or doesn't do. But any director can film his/her subject in many different ways: it can be done titillating, or shocking, or cold and dispassionate or humorous, etc.



Does everyone agree it can be potentially reasonable to depict a disturbing/bad thing in order to expose it, and therefore prevent more of it in the long run?
Yes, obviously.

Similarly, does everyone agree that, in doing the above, you can depict too much of it?
Maybe, but I don't think it's nearly as clear as the above.

Especially when, in this case, the depiction is itself an example of the thing, IE: depicting animal cruelty is not engaging in it, but depicting pre-pubescent kids dancing suggestively is itself an example of the thing it's trying to stop.
You haven't seen the movie, I gather?

1) The girls aren't pre-pubescent

2) It's not about their suggestive dancing, but about sexualized entertainment and media (including social media), and how they affect the world view and behavior of children (at least that's how I interpret it). I guess you could say it's not about sexualizing children but about children getting sexualized influences they may not be ready to handle and understand properly. It's important (I think) that in the film the girls sexualize themselves based on the role models offered by media, everyone else treats them like kids.



Yes, obviously.
Cool.

Maybe, but I don't think it's nearly as clear as the above.
What's the "above"? I'm not really trying to defend any specific person's reaction. I just assume people have reacted in unreasonable or over-the-top ways, from places of pure ignorance. This is about establishing the most reasonable argument possible and addressing that, instead of the low-hanging fruit of silly people.

You haven't seen the movie, I gather?
Correct. And I found myself arguing with people who were mad about it before release. That said, I watched a pretty lengthy review with lots of clips and context, and some of those clips, I can't really fathom being necessary even to the best-intentioned example I mentioned earlier. I don't think it's plausible that something like 20-30 seconds of close-ups on kids gyrating in overtly sexual ways is necessary to make the point.

1) The girls aren't pre-pubescent
Let's not really litigate this, or parse the significance of that line, and just agree that they're of an age where overtly sexualizing them isn't appropriate. Do we agree there?

2) It's not about their suggestive dancing, but about sexualized entertainment and media (including social media), and how they affect the world view and behavior of children (at least that's how I interpret it). I guess you could say it's not about sexualizing children but about children getting sexualized influences they may not be ready to handle and understand properly. It's important (I think) that in the film the girls sexualize themselves based on the role models offered by media, everyone else treats them like kids.
Yes, that seems to be the point. And I'm not disputing it! The question I'm posing is, even granting that this is what the film is about, and even granting the intentions here are pure, are the depictions of the behavior appropriate and necessary to the end of making that point?