With the Golden Globes hoopla fresh in our minds, and the alluring scent of the Oscars in the air, standards for good cinema are at an all time high. What's more, with dreary winter weather trudging on, we can't help but stay indoors and watch another life changing award-winner, this time a Cannes favorite, now available on Netflix for your viewing pleasure.
Films have come before Uda Benyamina's Divines (2016) that capture the troubled youth in the outskirts of Paris, the unfortunate souls that have been dealt a bad hand in life, whom you root for and hope that the young and naive heroes with a chips on their shoulders will persevere in the end.
The unexpected surprise of this summer Camera d'or winner is that the intensity put forth by the anguishing protagonists are female. Young women run the show in this story of drug pushing, the ambition to get rich quick, and being miserably failed by the system.
The cast is led by the devastatingly moving performance of Oulaya Amamra (Dounia), who storms out of class one day during a career oriented role-play exercise to pursue bigger and more glamorous things. From there, with reliable sidekick Maimouna (Déborah Lukumuena) in tow, the adventure begins. The two get mixed up in the harsh and slick world of Rebecca, a big name dealer in the neighborhood, and Kevin Mischel enters the scene as a dancer who manages to invoke passion in the fiery lost soul of Dounia.
The resilience of spirit within the main character never fails to inspire every step of the way, and there's nothing like a fierce French drama to wake you up from the post holiday slump, so please enjoy!
Watch if you like: Girlhood, Polisse