Girlhood and Scenes of Hurt and Rapture and The Portrayal of Path to Self-discovery

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 466 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jan 4, 2019

Words: 466|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jan 4, 2019

In Girlhood (2013), Marieme (Karidja Touré) joins a gang and goes on a journey of self discovery. Through this journey, she finds herself becoming violent. After Marieme and the other girls dance and have fun, Marieme notices her sister Bebe (Simina Soumare) with a gang of girls stealing a bag from a woman. Marieme confronts her sister, and their argument escalates to Marieme slapping Bebe, to which she responds, "you hit me? You're just like him." This scene is traumatic for both Marieme and Bebe. It is traumatic for Bebe physically because she has been hit, but also emotionally because she loses trust in her sister. For Marieme, it is emotionally traumatic because she is forced to consider who she is becoming and how it is affecting her sister. This moment not only highlights the character development that Marieme has had so far, but also marks the beginning of another phase of character development for her.

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The way the camera is used here is very interesting, particularly with when it chooses to cut and how that relates to how the point of view switches between sisters. The sequence starts with a medium shot of Marieme, noticing her sister. The reverse is a wide shot, signifying Marieme's point of view. The camera then stays tight on Marieme, following her to her sister to what becomes a medium two-shot. Because this is the same shot, it still feels like Marieme's point of view. The camera breaks into shot-reverse-shot, but maintains point of view of Marieme by singling her in her coverage, but shooting over her shoulder to Bebe. Once Marieme hits Bebe, the camera cuts to Marieme, showing her reaction to Bebe saying "you hit me?". This maintains point of view on Marieme, showing us how she has to deal what what she's just done. When the camera cuts back to Bebe, it is no longer over Marieme's shoulder. This gives Bebe more power in the scene and transfers the point of view to her momentarily as we see how she reacts to being hit. Marieme pulls Bebe into a tight two-shot, and from then on we only see them in frame together, showing how Marieme tries to reconcile despite Bebe continuously pushing her away.

In "Scenes of hurt and rapture," Emma Wilson discusses how director Céline Sciamma is "peculiarly attentive to sensory detail, what things feel like, how they touch." (pg 3). This is very present in this scene as we see very tight shots showing the physicality between the sisters, both with the slap, and with Marieme caressing Bebe's face and Bebe pushing her away. This creates a very visceral tension that is extremely palpable to the viewer and helps them feel the sorrow and confusion that Marieme is experiencing.

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Alex Wood

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Girlhood and Scenes of Hurt and Rapture and The Portrayal of Path to Self-Discovery. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“Girlhood and Scenes of Hurt and Rapture and The Portrayal of Path to Self-Discovery.” GradesFixer, 03 Jan. 2019,
Girlhood and Scenes of Hurt and Rapture and The Portrayal of Path to Self-Discovery. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 May 2024].
Girlhood and Scenes of Hurt and Rapture and The Portrayal of Path to Self-Discovery [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jan 03 [cited 2024 May 26]. Available from:
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