Just when you thought the world was done being vile, along comes US streaming service Netflix to pluck a French Film from obscurity and remind everyone that the Arts Industry is the lowest level in Dante’s inferno.
Cuties is the debut film from French-Senegalese director Maïmouna Doucouré pitched as a coming-of-age comedy drama that turns out to be a glorification of child abuse. Sundance, in its usual poor taste, awarded it the ‘Global Filmmaking Award’, writing that Cuties:
“…crafts a spirited film that nimbly depicts the tweens’ youthful energy and vulnerabilities while exploring their fumbling eagerness to be identified as sexualized. Amy deftly anchors the film’s immensely watchable, vivacious young cast.”
Any publication that describes eleven year olds stroking themselves for the camera as ‘immensely watchable’ should be forwarded to the authorities. Which brings up the awkward reality that co-founder of Sundance, Sterling Van Wagenen, is serving six years to life in jail for abusing a girl under nine.
Sundance came out to ‘categorically denounce’ Sterling’s behaviour, but their solution seems to be to reward filmmakers who abuse children on screen for profit. Sort of like starving your pet to death to make a point about animal cruelty.
Long before Netflix released the film onto its streaming service, there was a cancel-campaign based upon Netflix’s marketing. They edited ‘twerking’ to ‘free spirited’ and changed the poster from a clip of the final dance scene to the lead girl staring off into the camera lens, pleading, one would assume, with the audience not to come after Netflix with pitchforks.
Petitions to charge distributors for criminal offences caused Netflix to apologise for ‘botching the poster’, but accidentally turning a promotional poster into child porn isn’t a careless typo – it’s a felony.
The usual apologists swarmed out to save the film with the main defence of Cuties being that it was created by the ethnic child of a migrant Muslim family – to which my first reaction is, ‘so what?’ Since when did ethnicity and religion give a person a pass to exploit children sexually for entertainment and profit?
The answer to that is, ‘since the age of Social Justice’ where identity boxes give people special protection from illegal activities – like looting, burning and lynching.
This leaves society in an insane dichotomy where the elite feel the need to defend predatory content as ‘virtuous’ while the rest of the nation are in the bizarre position of being forced to justify their opposition to soft-core, mass produced child porn or face accusations of bigotry and Islamaphobia.
I’m not one to copy-paste commentary. I watched Cuties so that you don’t have to.
It is far worse than I had anticipated. The French are known for pushing subject matter, but questionable content with consenting adults is not the same as a camera which leers at eleven year old crotches while the underage cast is directed to mimic sexual acts, writhing over each other and the stage.
The film ends rather abruptly, with the lead girl running back to her Islamic family where her father has just taken a second wife and her aunt longs for her to be a child bride. Here, beneath all the noise of outrage, we should be wary of what the film actually endorses, which is the virtue of Islamic teaching over a woefully misrepresented Western culture. We come back to the words during the religious congregation at the opening:
“That is why women must be pious. Because in hell, there will be many more women than men. Where does evil dwell? In the bodies of uncovered women.”
The film never bothers to clarify that while the West celebrates the free spirited nature of women – NOT CHILDREN – Islam trades its girls off as sex slaves under the veil of religious piety.
Cuties is not critical, honest, or respectful of its cast, but rather indulges in a sickening mess that’ll end up in the collection of paedophiles.
By ellymelly – If you enjoy my work, consider shouting me a coffee over on Ko-Fi
For reference, here is a short list of the worst offending scenes:
The girls cluster around a phone in the bathroom, watching what we assume is pornography, discussing sexual acts, rape, and male genitalia.
They dare each other to film a school boy in the bathroom with his pants open.
They watch school age girls in a competing dance group bare their naked chest during a youtube video.
They proposition older boys after being approached, pretending to be fourteen (instead of eleven).
In a park, one of them blows into a used condom, putting it down their shirt as a breast.
They try catfishing a man on an online chat service with explicit content.
They once again proposition two grown men at a laser tag course.
Perform for a video in mini-shorts and skirts to the lyrics, ‘I like to party with the boys, we get money’ right as the camera goes underneath a girl lifting her leg.
An older girl holds one of the dancers down and pulls her pants off in a fight, leaving her underwear on display which later prompts the same eleven year old actress to take a naked crotch photo and post it online.
The lead is caught stealing a phone and her solution is to start taking off her jeans in another proposition.
Then there’s the slow-motion scene when the girls party down the city street with shopping bags wearing bras over their shirts and panties over their mini-skirts.
Extended, repeated dance scenes in which the children grab each other’s backsides, thrust into the floor or directly towards the camera, open their legs to a zoomed in camera shot inter-cut with sexually explicit song lyrics etc