Hide and Seek (2005)

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Plot summary: After the passing of her mother, nine-year-old Emily devises an imaginary friend, Charlie, whose influence over Emily troubles her father. When people close to Emily begin getting hurt, David must ask: is Emily behind this … or is Charlie real?

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of mental illness, suicide, murder, animal abuse, paedophilia, spousal/family violence and horror themes. There are also heavy spoilers for the film Hide and Seek.

This blog entry discusses the figure of the sinister girl-child and the representation of trauma and mental illness in the 2005 psychological thriller film Hide and Seek.

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The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002)

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Plot Summary: Eliza Thornberry, a girl with the power to talk to animals, travels across Africa in order to thwart poachers, rescue a cheetah cub and save hundreds of elephants from destruction.

In this entry, I look at healthy family dynamics, sisterly love, interracial friendships/relationships, beauty standards and colonialism/White supremacy in the American animated comedy The Wild Thornberrys Movie. (The content under the cut contains spoilers.)

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The Getting of Wisdom (1978)

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Plot summary: 1890s. Laura Tweedle Rambotham enters an exclusive Melbourne ladies’ college. The film follows her struggles with acceptance, conformity, romance, friendship and achievement over the next four years.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of racial slurs and bisexual erasure.

In this entry, I look at beauty standards, likability, bisexuality, compulsory heterosexuality and peer pressure in the Australian coming-of-age comedy-drama The Getting of Wisdom. (The content under the cut contains spoilers.)

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Show Me Love (1998)

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Plot Summary: One Friday night in the Swedish town of Amal, Elin, an outgoing popular girl and Agnes, a lonely misfit, share a kiss which sparks a journey of discovery for them both.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of homophobia, bi erasure, death, suicide and ableism.

In this entry, I look at lesbian representation, queerness, class, disability and outsiderhood in the Swedish coming-of-age drama Show Me Love. (The content under the cut contains spoilers.)

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A Little Princess (1995)

main Plot Summary: 1914. When her adoring father enlists to fight for the British in the First World War, Sara Crewe is sent to a New York boarding school, where her kindness and imagination transform her classmates’ lives for the better. However, Sara’s belief that all girls are princesses is tested when word comes that her father was killed in action.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of the death of a parent, the separation of children from parents, cultural appropriation, racism, colonialism and classism.

In this entry, I look at princess culture, cultural appropriation, race, class and innocence in the family film A Little Princess. (The content under the cut contains spoilers.) Continue reading “A Little Princess (1995)”

Girlfight (2000)

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Plot Summary: Diana, a troubled Latina teenager from Brooklyn, decides to become a boxer, despite the scorn of both her father and men involved in the sport. When she masters the sport, she is presented with a dilemma when she must enter a bout against her boyfriend, a fellow boxer in her weight class.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of racism, suicide, domestic abuse, misgendering and fear of attacks/murder by men.

Girlfight is a sports drama film that deserves to be a classic. Released at the turn of the millennium alongside other independent films about young people mastering sports not traditionally considered appropriate for their gender (such as Billy Elliot and Bend It Like Beckham), Girlfight is an electrifying look at a girl of colour who learns to value herself and demand respect through mastering a sport. (The content under the cut contains spoilers.)

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Anita and Me (2002)

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Plot summary: 1972. Meena is a British Indian girl who lives with her family in the sleepy White, working-class mining village of Tollington in the Black Country. Meena meets Anita, a White fourteen-year-old whom she comes to idolise. However, a rift arises between the two girls due to Anita’s acceptance of her boyfriend’s racism toward Indians.

Trigger/content warning: This blog entry contains discussions of racist violence, racist slurs, statutory rape, internalised homophobia and fat-shaming.

Anita and Me was released within a small vogue for films about British Indians, characterised by East is East and especially Bend It Like Beckham. It was often compared unfavourably to Bend It Like Beckham, which I find unfair, considering that they’re both valuable stories, but quite different ones. (The content under the cut contains spoilers.) Continue reading “Anita and Me (2002)”