Mignones (Guapis)

Mignones (Guapis)


by Elisa Vidal (SIGNIS Argentina) ( a film about teenagers for adults)


The difficult task of growing up
Guapis, it is a film that worries. Whenever a pubescent, or a teenager stars or intervenes in a play, it is inevitable that an alert, a certain suspicion awakens in the elderly .

And we wonder: how did these boys and girls spend it starring in the film? Did they live the experience naturally? Was your passage through a set traumatic?

And when do these questions arise? When we see a child or adolescent exposed to disturbing, painful, strong emotions "...

We do not know what his intimate experience was when he approached a certain intimacy, a certain exposure, which leaves him showing his pain, his anxiety, his sensuality, his anger, his helplessness. And we think again; this that shows, how do you live it? How do you work with the director? And what interference do parents have in this "nakedness" of soul or body of their children? And the rights of these guys? The fact that they agree and accept your intervention, is it enough?

These reflections are confronted with the film, a work that accompanies the existential journey of Ami, an 11-year-old Senegalese girl, raised in a family that professes Islam, with a mother who suffers the imminent arrival of a new wife of her husband, absent. A dominant grandmother, a matriarch, who is the one who decides within the family nucleus, and a little brother, who adds care tasks to Ami. The girl attends religious ceremonies that bore her, or that she does not quite understand; seems to be at a stark distance from his family or neighborhood community. As a migrant, she endures indifference, aggression or teasing from her companions.

To be accepted, she puts into play all possible strategies to join "las mignonnes" a group of friends who are trying to win a new talent contest.

The risky and difficult journey that Ami undertakes is marked by hiding, lies, and even stealing a cell phone from her cousin.

Ami moves between two antagonistic worlds; tradition, submission to the social rules of her family and neighborhood community and the world of her incipient friends, who are incorporating her thanks to her insistence and her talent for dancing.

The adolescent has started a path that will plunge her into contradictions, she will confront her mother's wishes, her frustration, the submission to her mother-in-law, the predetermined future that surely awaits her, with that world of the antipodes where anything goes (or almost ) where there are no rules or barriers to achieve what you have set out to do: be accepted by your group.

Ami crosses all limits; social networks, the desire to be included, in the world "of others," that forbidden world, make her reach crime, (theft) aggression, (throw her rival into the river) the exposure of her privacy (a “Selfie” of their genitals)

Ami may not know what she wants to be: let's remember how she cries and gets anguish in the middle of a choreography in which she longed to participate ... but she seems to be very clear about what she doesn't want for her (the life of her mother, her grandmother, her culture that is alien to him ...) The adult world is significantly and strongly absent, his mother, overwhelmed by her own problems, cannot manage to establish an honest, deep dialogue. The grandmother is the tradition, the past that remembers the rules and the role that each one must assume.

Perhaps her neighbor in a similar situation to Ami, will also allow her to confront and discover that she is not so alone. In the family bosom we also glimpse certain gestures of rebellion, which are appreciated by Ami, and allow her to discover her mother as a suffering being, who seeks her place and her voice in the family, departing from the rules of her grandmother. Ami begins to understand ...

The authorization to dress differently at his father's wedding, the telephone that he throws out the window so as not to speak to him, places us in a new time, a more serene path, perhaps a door to dialogue, despite everything, beyond of the storms it goes through on its way to maturity.

Original title
96 min.


Maïmouna Doucouré


Nicolas Nocchi


Yann Maritaud


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Drama | Childhood Adolescence Dance