On September 9, Netflix will release the highly-awaited French film Cuties for streaming in the United States. To this point, the film has sparked controversy due to the racy nature of its American promotional poster. In an interview with Deadline, the film’s director, Maïmouna Doucouré, revealed that she’s received death threats due to the poster.
“I received numerous attacks on my character from people who had not seen the film,” Doucouré said, “who thought I was actually making a film that was apologetic about hypersexualiation of children,” she says. “I also received numerous death threats.”
The film recently won the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award at Sundance this year. The movie follows Amy, an 11-year-old French-Senegalese girl with aspirations of joining her friends’ modern dance troupe. In turn, Amy becomes aware of her burgeoning femininity, clashing with her mother.
“I wrote this film after I spent a year and a half interviewing pre-adolescent girls,” said Doucouré. “Trying to understand their notion of what femininity was, and how social media was affecting this idea. The main message of the film is that these young girls should have the time to be children, to enjoy their childhood, and have the time to choose who they want to be when they are adults. You have a choice, you can navigate between these cultures, and choose from the elements of both, to develop into your own self, despite what social media dictates in our society.”
Back in August, Netflix apologized in a statement to Deadline, saying they were “deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that used for Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which premiered at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.”
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