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AMOD: Movie Review: NETFLIX "Mignonnes" (Cuties)! How could Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton get it so wrong about this Movie? Shame On You Both!!

Controversial Content
Added: Wednesday, September 16th 2020 at 1:56pm by AMODPOVW
Category: News & Issues
Related Tags: movie reviews
 
 
 

MOVIE REVIEW/PERSONAL OPINION/COMMENTARY:

Most times when Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton get on their high horses about some moral issue, I take a deep breath and look the other way.  But when one of the Young Ladies who came up through our Youth Program, who is now a Teacher and Mother of Two repost on her Face Book Page the accusation against NETFLIX that it is engaging in Child Pornography,  I took a step back.  Apparently, Cruz and Cotton have addressed a letter to the Justice Department and asked them to look at NETFLIX because it is showing the French Movie "Mignonnes"!

To better understand the controversy, I decided to watch the movie, and guess what, I was glad that I did!  There was absolutely nothing Pornographic (even by American Standards) about the movie, but most importantly the movies true value is in the lesson that it should be teaching to us about the stresses that our young girls face today.  It is a movie filled with lessons for Parents about how their personal stresses can have lasting negative effects on their children.  It is a movie filled with lessons about how Cultural differences can have lasting negative effects on our children.  It is a movie filled with lessons about how peer pressure can negatively affect our children.  And finally, it was filled with lessons about how resilient our children can really be if given the opportunity!

Take it from the Director of the Movie because it was her true-life story:

…“Cuties” is a film by the French-Senegalese filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré. The film won numerous awards in France before hitting Netflix in the United States last week.

Fundamentally, “Cuties” is a brilliant and nuanced film about Amy, an impressionable 11-year-old girl exploring her own agency and the desire to belong through physical movement and the depersonalized world of social media. Amy is flooded with conflicting messages from her peers and her female family members about what it means to straddle the chasm between being a girl and being a woman….

In a Post op-ed, Doucouré explains that she intended her film to “start a debate about the sexualization of children” and that the film is her own story of juggling two cultures. 

The part that is most lost in Cruz and Cottons description of the film’s content is the last part…the juggling of two cultures, because that in essence is the real message of the movie and it was delivered in a powerful and effective way.  First and foremost, it displayed the difference in American and European Cultures as it relates to our approach to the subject of sex.  It is generally assumed that Europeans are far less prudist than Americans.  But the movie goes even further, it displays the difference in European (French) Culture and West African Culture, as well as the difference in Muslim and Christian Culture.

Religion is a key element in the Movie….it plays a central part in everything that eventually happens in the movie.  It was one of the central characters primary reason for rebellion, that, and the requirement that she adhere to certain African Cultural Traditions even though she now lived in Europe.  How Cruz and Cotton could have missed this is beyond me…. unless they never saw the movie.

Yes, the dance scenes were a bit much for me to view!!  These scenes took up maybe a total of 10 minutes worth of film footage in a movie that lasted almost 1 hour and 40 minutes.  Yes there was one quick partial nude scene….if you blinked you missed it, and then there was another implied sexual exhibition scene, that was greeted by the other characters in the movie with such disdain that the central character was ostracized!  Even the racy Dance Show was met with disapproval by the Judges and the audience…. which in short sent the message that this is not acceptable.  How did Cruz and Cotton miss this.

But there were several other disturbing parts of the movie that should be highlighted so that we can ensure that people are understanding the emotional needs of young girls today.  There was a scene where the main character (Amy) experienced that most important moment in a young females life, and she had not been prepared for that moment….the movie depicted the emotional effect that moment had on the young child.  All she was told was that she was a woman now.  Without any guidance from home what did you expect from Amy when she began to act like a woman at 11 years old.

Another crucial moment in the film was when Amy was willing to commit murder to be accepted by her peer group.  This was an important moment in the film that seems to get little to no attention.  We seem to forget that many teens are committing suicide today because of the pressures of peer association.  It was an important highlight of the movie that requires discussion.  The fact that Amy suddenly understood the depths to which she had sunk was a turning point in the movie.  In the end she decided to be a little girl who was the product of two Cultures…. she ends the movie not dancing but jumping rope with other children.

This was a moving and important study into parenting and childhood emotional stress.  Take the “twerking” out of it and please focus on the important message that this Director tried to get across.  I had a young Middle School Student attempt Suicide because of the pressures associated with this period in her life and I had another young lady in our Youth Program suffer greatly because she absorbed her mother’s stress.  This stuff is real, and Cruz and Cotton should be ashamed of themselves for falsely smearing this movie.

I highly recommend that teenage girls and their mothers watch it together. It could create an important "Bonding" moment!


User Comments

wow, If this movie is in English, trust me I will be watching it.  First of all because you liked it and secondly because Cruz and Cotton have made such a big deal of denouncing it.

The thing is that right or wrongly, twerking is part of youth culture right now....I don't understand or like it, but in dealing with what youth face, twerking fits.  (kind of likie leggings were a thing for a while..I hated them too...LOL)

SFTL it is dubbed in English....and dubbed rather well I might say!!{#basic-laugh.gif}

As you know I have three granddaughters and trust me...the twerking was hard to watch, but the main character was trying to fit in....and she practiced trying to do it....and found that she could.  Her peers were not convinced and had to be trained by her to do it.  Once again, when it was done at the contest....it went over like a fart in church, so the kids learned a lesson! {#basic-laugh.gif}

There was one other real funny scene where one of the girls found a condom in the part....she had no idea what it was....thought it was a ballon and blew it up to use as a breast booster.  One of the girls did know it was something bad (not Amy the main character)...and the funny scene was they took the girl to one of their homes and you get this funny scene of them working to wash her mouthout and her face as well.  They scrub her tongue with a brush!!{#rofl.gif}{#rofl.gif}

 

I found a copy of a movie of that name on Netflix and it seems to be in English (audio).  I don't have  your issues about some things not having children or grandchildren but do realize that kids do a lot of what they do to shock adults.

I put Miley Cyrus twerking stuff down to that... :)

I will watch the version I found on Netflix, and might just share my reaction.

Ok, I have watched most of it, and will finish it, but thought I would go ahead and post my reactions.  First of all twerking is sadly part of the culture now, along with say the Kardistan and that whole "big bad girl" sydrome.  I have been driving down the street and seen a girl terking on the sidewalk.  No music that I could hear...just her jerking her backend around.

Now, let me say that the biggest issues are as I saw them.  First of all, there is the pressure coming from all directions to grow up.  The girl is about 11 or 12 and yet there is the expectation that she wll be responsible for much of the housekeeping as well as talking care of her two younger siblings.  Both parents are somehow strangely absent though much of the action of this movie.

In addition, the mother doesn't really share what is going on with her daughter, and a family member is talking about the girl getting married in a year of two, so there is pressure to be grown in the household.

Then there is the pressure from the outside culture, hip hop, twerking etc from the community.  To have friends, it seems her one chance is to grab hold to aspects of the outside culture even if that is going to alienate her from the values of her home.

The girl who is the main character is be felt for, but it is far more than "twerking" that is at issue.  The movie asks questions about the entire way that we think as a society and raise or don't raise the children.  None of the girls in this movie really get that much support from their parents.

That is the "worst" thing about this protrayal, although it sadly all too true to life.

There you go SFTL....see what happens if you take a moment to view the movie, you see more than just the twerking!{#basic-laugh.gif}

By the way, the end was great..in order not to spoil it, I will simply say things came together beautifully in my opinion.  Amy may just have found her own way to deal with the pressures and assumptions in a healthy way.

Exactly!!  The ending is very slick!!  It's a clear message, while at the same time typical child like solution to a major problem!!

Again if people would just drop their prejudices and open their minds they could see a lot of good in what some saw as bad!{#basic-laugh.gif}

One other important point....when she was awakened and taken into that kitchen for the food preparation, my heart sunk because remember she was told that its time....I thought she was going there was Genital Mutilation, which is a major problem in some West African Cultures.  I was glad the movie did not go down that path!{#basic-cool.gif}

It might have helped if they had seen the movie but I doubt it even then!

Yeah Martin, that goes for the idiots here at Blogster who are doing Post about me and probably the movie...even though they have little clue about what I have written because they are blocked!{#basic-laugh.gif}

I would be interested in knowing what you think about the movie if you get a chance!

I am a netflix junkie--I have it on my list--#37--I mix series, documentaries and movies every night! LOL

{#thumbs-up.gif}

I saw the movie and I have to agree with Cruz on this one. It wasn't the twerking that is the problem here. I grew up in the Caribbean and carnival is part of the culture and we twerked and danced sexual from an early age. The first problem with the film is that it is rated for mature audience MA but we are looking at child actors in roles that exploited them. This should have been a documentary that brings awareness to exploitation of children. The fact that an eleven year old will take a photo of her private part and post it on social media in a scene that is not very realistic, one because it wasn't her phone, and two most people probably would have thought that the post was from the owner of the phone which probably would have got him in trouble. ( Remember she stole his phone?) She stole his phone but not his charger and the phone never died. Do people carry phones around without using a password for access? The camera close up of the young girls in their tight outfits seemed quite unnecessary  unless they are try to entice perverts. I found the shots disgusting. Now I see the points you make and those are good points but this movie has some real ethical issues. I wonder if the actors parents even saw the movie and approved it? I doubt the kids who acted even saw the final product. I was disappointed in Netflix for showing this movie. I don't think we've seen the last of this issue with Netflix.

writer I have no agrument with your points....but if Cruz directed his concerns at the French Movie Studio that made the film and not NETFLIX I would be more understanding.  As opposed to screaming Child Pornography during this time of QANON....go detail by detail and discuss the flaws in film making that you highlighted.    

Here is another of my concerns about the outrage placed on the supposite Sexual Exploitation of these kids.....where was the concern on Cruz's part about the attempted murder scene?  I want more emphasis on that?  Why is there not more outrage about that act of violence?

NETFLIX did a movie about Child Soldiers..."Beast of No Nation".....they had children committing mass murder and they had Male Children being raped by their Male Leaders.  It won awards world wide and I did not hear a sound from Cruz or Cotton or any of the other Holier than Thou Senators who are weighing in on this movie.   Child on Child violence and exploitation of those young actors to tell a story was acceptable to them...why?

Why Now with NETFLIX?  Why this movie??

Like you said...the twerking did not bother you because of your Cultural Foundations....we should remember that the film was produced in France....there are different standards in Europe as it relates to sexual exposure.  This is well known and documented...Cruz and Cotton should know that!{#basic-laugh.gif}

One other quick point writer.....Compare this movie again to "Beast of No Nation"....it appears that we are much concerned about the exploitation of our little girls than we are about our little boys!{#basic-laugh.gif}

Yes, there is a double standard. If you read my blog on Cutie, I referenced "Good Boys," which came out in the theaters and it was just as bad, but because it was boys, we didn't hear any noise about the content and it exploiting boys. The sexual acts in the movie in my opinion didn't drive the script and it didn't do anything for the storyline. It actually threw the protagonist out of character which is not a good thing. It was hard to empathize with the girl after she made sexual moves on her male relative and then took a picture of her private part and send it to her friends or on social media. I could understand her attachment to the phone and her desperation, but this wasn't even her phone so it seemed unlikely she could have accomplished whatever goal she was trying for. It wasn't necessary for the cameras to zoom in on the children's body parts. The movie left me with a feeling that I should pick up a cause against spousal abuse where the mother finds out about a new wife and has to accept it. Does it make me want to speak out about the culture that treats little girl like grown women squeezing them into tight clothing, and having them twerking? It could have, but it killed the message by showing the scenes I mentioned with the little girl sending her private part on social media and coming on to her male relative. This makes for great debate and you raise good points.

I will interject here to say that the stealing of the phone was obviously a bad move, but the reality thing about the charger etc, is the type of thing that I often ignore in movies or books because it is all fiction to begin with and I am used to a certain suspension of disbelief in fiction.

Not defending the action takiing the picture of her privates was actually even worse of a move, because I believed in that moment, she was trying to get her male relative in trouble....having a picture of her privates on his phone...more of that attempt to be a big bad girl that she was feeling pushed into.

writer...I forgot you write scripts!!! {#basic-laugh.gif}

You just awakened my thoughts.....I forgot about that sexual advance scene....you are 100% correct about that!   The spousal abuse thing was another point....but that is what I meant when I talked about Cultural Conflicts!!  The main Character is now living in Europe in a Judo Christian Culture and here she is having to adhere to strict Islamic African Culture which she did not know how to handle.  

Again I see clearly your point where the film maker did not do a good job driving home those points!

As I mentioned to SFTL there was one scene where I feared we were going to get into genitial mutilation....and I was glad we did not!

I will check out your post!{#basic-laugh.gif}

writer....somehow I never saw your review on Cuties....just read it and the dialogue we are having here covers the points I would have made there!{#basic-laugh.gif}

writer I can't help but make one more comment concerning NETFLIX and Cuties!

I wonder how much of this outrage with NETFLIX has to do with the $50 Million deal that the Obamas signed with that Corp to make other content.  We should never underestimate the hatred and disdain that some on the right have to do with anything associated with the Obamas.

I came across some stuff tonight where FOX and other were calling on the Obamas to use their influence within NETFLIX to condemn this movie.  I am beginning to fear that a lot of this was political and had a lot less to do with the sincere topics that you, I and SFLT are discussing!{#basic-cool.gif}

I agree. I thought the purpose was to get her male relative in trouble. It would have been an interesting "cry for help" if he was abusing her, but that wasn't in the script and they went with the direction of causing a Social Media uproar. 

I can understand the concerns raised about Obama. If Netflix was Epstein or even R Kelly many would have distance themselves. But we can't fault Obama on this in my opinion. There are many criticizing Obama that I'm sure has large stocks in Netflix and probably they won't pull their stocks. That said, Netflix needs to make better choices and Cutie in my opinion was a bad choice.

This is why I like blogster because there are those adults like yourself who can engage in sensitive dialogue and help us gain clarity without judging each other or throwing temper tantrums.  I wish more bloggers were like that.

writer I wish more were like that also!

I have had other discussion about this movie....and some have been enlightening...one person really keyed me to the marketing problem caused by NETFLIX and how they marketed the film and you highlighted the technical flaws in the film, and these are the kind of things that help people understand better.

By the way.....the Obamas don't own shares of NETFLIX...all they did was cut a business deal with them the to produce things the way JayZ cut a deal with the NFL to produce somethings!{#basic-laugh.gif}

 

I wasn't implying that the Obama's have shares in Netflix. I don't know if they do, but I won't be surprised if some of the people calling for boycotts of Netflix and criticizing Obama probably own shares in Netflix and probably won't be selling their stocks.

I knew you weren't....but believe it or not I have seen where others believe they do!

And I totally agree about those others!{#basic-laugh.gif}

Amod, I am off to see if Beast of No Nation is still on Netflix. :)



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