- Netflix released “Cuties” Wednesday, a film about 11-year-old Amy who “joins a group of dancers named ‘the cuties’ at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity – upsetting her mother and her values in the process,” according to IMDB.
- The film has ignited furor on social media over its representations of young girls and suggestive dancing.
- “Cuties” not only includes many close up shots of little girl’s crotches and buttocks, the film also links young girls to pornography, discussions of sexual acts, a child photographing her genitalia, and more, a review by the Daily Caller News Foundation found.
Netflix released the film “Cuties” on its streaming service Wednesday, a film that follows the struggles of an 11-year-old girl named Amy who begins dancing suggestively in attempts to fit in with girls at school who she admires.
Throughout the film, Amy resists her traditional and religious background and resents her absent father after she overhears her mother crying about him taking a second wife.
Amy watches a group of fashionably dressed girls at school who are dancers and longs to be one of them. As she attempts to also become a dancer, Amy steals a cell phone from one of her relatives and watches suggestive videos online to teach herself how to dance. The videos she watches — and the dance moves she learns — are much more mature and suggestive than those of her peers.
She then teaches her newfound dance moves to the other young girls in a scene where she moves their buttocks, bodies, and clothes with her hands to show them the suggestive moves, some of which include the young girls lying on the ground and contorting their bodies. (RELATED: Netflix Apologies For ‘Cuties’ Artwork, Says It Is ‘Inappropriate’ And ‘Not Representative’ Of The Movie)
Ultimately, the dancers make it to a dance competition on the day of Amy’s father’s second marriage. Clad in glitzy crop tops, mini shorts, hair dye and makeup, they dance before judges using the highly suggestive moves that Amy has taught them. The audience appears to be both impressed and dismayed by this performance: one woman attempts to cover her daughters eyes and another is seen frowning.
In the middle of this dance routine, Amy suddenly begins crying and runs from the stage. She runs home where she meets her grandmother, who yells at her for her clothing and calls her a whore until her mother rescues her. Amy’s mother does not force her to attend her father’s wedding, and the film closes with Amy happily jump roping with a group of traditional looking young girls outside her home.
The film, which has sparked outrage on social media platforms over its depictions of young girls, includes a number of close up shots of Amy’s buttocks and crotch, as well as close up shots of her fellow dancers’ buttocks and crotches. These shots usually occur during dance numbers when the children are dancing suggestively.
“Cuties” also includes many scenes linking young girls and sexual or sexualized activities. Towards the beginning of the movie, Amy overhears a group of young girls discussing a video they are watching that appears to be pornography. In another scene, the young girls video chat a boy and one of the girls asks the boy if he would like to touch her breasts.
On another occasion, one of the young girls finds a condom outside and blows it up with her mouth, believing it to be a balloon. Her friends shriek and run away from her when they discover that it is a condom, telling her that she will get AIDS in her mouth.
Amy dances suggestively in front of a stranger to show him that she is a dancer. The man eyes Amy while she dances in an inappropriate manner, and the film zooms in on Amy’s buttocks while he does so. In this same scene, Amy’s friends accuse another man of being a child molester and a pervert for grabbing one of the girl’s arms.
When Amy’s relative discovers that she stole his phone, Amy panics and attempts to get it back from him. She shows him the crop top she is wearing and begins to unbutton her pants. He becomes angry at this and pushes her away, asking her what she is doing. Amy grabs the phone from him and runs into the bathroom, where she locks the door, pulls down her pants and underwear, and takes a picture of her crotch. She then posts the picture on social media.
Amy’s mother and great-aunt later discover what she has been up to with her dancer friends and severely reprimand her. Part of this reprimand includes what appears to be a cleansing ritual where Amy, dressed only in panties and a tank top, shivers as her mother and great-aunt throw water at her. Amy shivers, writhes, and dances on the floor. This scene includes a variety of shots of Amy’s buttocks clad only in the wet underwear.
The film has a TV-MA rating, meaning it is intended for adults, though it is accessible to anyone on Netflix who does not have parental controls on their account.
After initial uproar against “Cuties” when the film’s trailer was released, Netflix apologized for the artwork promoting the movie.
“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties,” a Netflix spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation August 20. “It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which premiered at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.”
The posters, which have since been updated, depicted the young girls dressed in the outfits that they wear in the final dance competition striking suggestive poses. The posters closely resemble the actual dancing that occurs in “Cuties” during that final dance scene.
“I discovered the poster [at] the same time as the American public,” director Maïmouna Doucouré said in an early September interview with Deadline. “My reaction? It was a strange experience. I hadn’t seen the poster until after I started getting all these reactions on social media, direct messages from people, attacks on me. I didn’t understand what was going on. That was when I went and saw what the poster looked like.”
Doucouré said she received death threats when the poster was released, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“I received numerous attacks on my character from people who had not seen the film, who thought I was actually making a film that was apologetic about hypersexualiation of children,” she said.
The director said she hoped “Cuties” would “make a big change in this world that hypersexualizes children” and said that the Netflix posters were “not representative of the film and especially its message.”
“I really put my heart into this film,” Doucouré told Deadline. “It’s actually my personal story as well as the story of many children who have to navigate between a liberal Western culture and a conservative culture at home.”
“Hopefully they will understand that we’re actually on the same side of this battle,” she said of critics ahead of the film’s release.
Netflix has not responded to a request for comment from the DCNF.
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