Indictment for “Cuties”
The national FIPRESCI section of the USA informs:
Statement by the national society of film critics regarding the grand jury indictment of Netflix for the film Cuties
The members of the National Film Critics Society wish to condemn the recent action taken by the District Attorney in Tyler County, Texas, with respect to the grand jury indictment of Netflix for “promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child.” This indictment, which is utterly baseless, is an example of political grandstanding related to the French film Cuties (Mignonnes, 2020), by award-winning writer-director Maïmouna Doucouré.
The indictment states that Cuties has “no literary, artistic, political, or scientific value,” which is legalese for pornography. This charge is absurd on its face. Cuties, which focuses on the experiences of a young Senegalese girl living in France, is a feminist examination of the oppressive roles available to young girls in the modern world. The protagonist, Amy, is torn between a restrictive, traditional Muslim family that demands supplication from women, and a clique of prepubescent dancers, anxious to replicate the hyper-sexualized behavior they see in YouTube videos and club culture.
Doucouré’s point could hardly be clearer. Young girls in contemporary culture are treated as objects of lust on the one hand, and denied their own sexuality on the other. The grand jury indictment, ironically, replicates the exact conditions that Cuties aims to criticize. By calling the film smut because of how someone might hypothetically watch it, the Tyler County D.A. insists that a frank consideration of girls’ sexuality is, in itself, dirty.
More significantly, we of the NSFC believe that indictments such as this, which are ultimately publicity stunts, could nevertheless have a chilling effect on free expression in the United States. For this reason, we feel it necessary to register our condemnation.
National Society of Film Critics
Grand Prix 2023 to Aki Kaurismäki
A Sword of Damocles on Iranian Filmmakers
Applications for Berlinale Talent Press 2024 are open
In Favor of Milcho Manchevski
The Warsaw Criticism Workshop 2023
Derek Malcolm, 1932 – 2023
In Memory of Hans Helmut Prinzler (1938-2023)
Critics Prize in Jordan
Michel Demopoulos: Citizen of the Cinema
Film Critic Sungu Çapan Passed Away
FIPRESCI Jury at Berlinale 2023
The Belarusian Independent Film Academy to be announced in Berlin
American Critics Vote On the Best of 2022
Iran 2022: Woman, Life, Freedom
European Film Awards 2022
Gandhi Medal 2022
European Discovery – Prix FIPRESCI 2022 (Nominations)
European Film Academy Starts Heritage Department
Grand Prix 2022: »Drive My Car«
Berlinale Talent Press 2023
Let's Get Critical (Locarno Panel 2022)