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Who is Cuties director Maïmouna Doucouré and what has she said about the Netflix film?

CUTIES director Maïmouna Doucouré has told critics who hit out at her Sundance award-winning film that they “have the same fight”.

Viewers have come down on the movie for it’s hyper-sexualization of children.

Getty Images - Getty
Cuties director Maïmouna Doucouré[/caption]

Who is Cuties director Maïmouna Doucouré?

Maïmouna Doucouré is a French-Sengalese screenwriter and director.

The 35-year-old, who was raised in Paris, made her directorial debut with the Netflix feature film Cuties.

Doucouré came under fire for Netflix’s early artwork poster for the film, depicting underage girls posing in racy dance outfits.

Netflix, which bought the film out of Sundance, apologized and withdrew the artwork.

Netflix
The movie first sparked backlash for its poster[/caption]

What has Maïmouna Doucouré said about the controversy over the film?

Doucouré, who won the world cinema dramatic directing award at Sundance for Cuties, spoke on the backlash and told critics that they were working toward the same goal.

She defended her film at the Toronto Film Festival saying: “‘It’s bold, it’s feminist, but it’s so important and necessary to create debate and try to find solutions, for me as an artist, for politicians and parent.”

Doucouré said she spoke to hundreds of pre-teens before making the movie to get an idea of the social pressures young girls are facing these days.

She said: “Our girls see that the more a woman is sexualized on social media, the more she is successful. And yea, it’s dangerous.”

Republican senator Ted Cruz said in an interview with Fox News that Netflix is “making money by selling the sexual exploitation of young kids”.

A handful of other Republican lawmakers in Washington have called for the Justice Department to take legal action against the streaming service for airing the controversial film.

Netflix said in a statement that it is a, “social commentary against the sexualization of young children”.

Netflix
Doucouré said she spoke to pre-teens about sexualization before making Cuties[/caption]

Doucouré said on a virtual panel organized by UniFrance: “The controversy started with that artwork… The most important [thing] is to watch the film and understand we have the same fight

“I thought the film would be accepted. It played to Sundance and was watched by American people there; I met the public there and they really saw that the film is about a universal issue.

“It’s not about French society – the hyper-sexualization of children happens through social media and social media is everywhere. People [at Sundance] agreed with that.

“We need to protect our children. What I want to is to open people’s eyes on this issue and try to fix it,” said the filmmaker, adding that it’s “important and necessary to create a debate and find solutions as filmmakers, politicians, and within the educational system”.

What is Cuties about?

Cuties, or “Mignonnes,” tells the story of an 11-year-old impoverished Senegalese girl in Paris who joins a dance group to escape her family troubles.

Viewers have criticized the film for it’s provocative choreography, deemed too inappropriate or suggestive for its young protagonists.

After the 96-minute film premiered September 9 on the streaming platform, the hashtag “#CancelNetflix” began trending on Twitter in the US.



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