Cuties: Maïmouna Doucouré’s Feature Debut (Sundance Fest)

“I wish during the next hour and a half that each one of you will become an 11-year-old little girl,” Maïmouna Doucouré told the audience on opening night of  her film Cuties at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

The French writer-director’s coming-of-age tale follows Amy, the daughter of Senegalese immigrants living in a Paris housing project.

She is in a crucial phase of her life, dealing with the highs and lows of reaching that “not a girl, not yet a woman” age range.

For Amy, there’s nothing more satisfying than earning the begrudging acceptance and respect of the Cuties, a group of preteens who rule Amy’s new school.  They are clad in short skirts, heavy lip gloss, and rainbow hair extensions. These girls spend their unsupervised after-school hours practicing their wild dance routines with an infectious joy