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7.1
/10
359 Ratings

Divines

Directed by Houda Benyamina
France, 2016
Drama

Synopsis

The story revolves around 15-year-old Dounia, who lives with her mother on the Les Pyramides estate, where she is known by the nickname ‘bâtarde’ (‘Bastard’). She builds up a protective tomboy image for herself and resolves to become a big shot in the neighborhood…

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Divines Directed by Houda Benyamina

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2016 | Winner: Golden Camera

2016 | Special Mention: SACD Prize

César Awards

2017 | 4 nominations including: Best Film

2017 | 3 wins including: Most Promising Actress

Golden Globes (USA)

2017 | Nominee: Best Motion Picture - Foreign Language

It rivals Girlhood as a portrait of combustible banlieue femininity, emanating raw energy and scrappy good humor even as it builds to an unexpectedly tragic and horrifying finale. The film also showcases a potentially star-making performance by Oulaya Amamra, who happens to be the director’s younger sister. Chosen despite a cattle call in which Benyamina looked at over 3,000 other young women, Amamra is so arrestingly alive onscreen that thoughts of nepotism seem ludicrous.
November 17, 2016
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The film is overflowing, a typical case of an all-that-matters-to-me first feature, and dull, packed with clichés aimed at a mainstream teenage audience. At Cannes, some observers confused the film’s rage and frantic editing with creative vitality; but a lack of invention in situations and dialogue is never going to be saved by blasting lyrical classical music, however reliably tear-inducing Lacrimosa might be.
September 05, 2016
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Benyamina’s film is not quite ground-breaking cinema, but there is a genuine energy and authenticity to her depiction of ghetto life on the outskirts of Paris, and its machine-gun bursts of dialogue drew a warm response from the French audience.
July 10, 2016
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