Director: Lucile Hadzihalilovic
Year Released: 2004
Very literal-minded allegory about the development of pre-teen girls into sexual beings groomed for men, done in a sort-of neo-Lynchian/quasi-Gothic way, with dark, creepy rooms, atmospheric noises and little dialogue. Casting children has to be a major headache, but the girls chosen to portray this film's boarding school pupils are outstanding - they keep their giddiness in check to play dour, gloomy-faced skeletons - but after a while their glum act is a little oppressive, as Hadzihalilovic's vision of being a little girl is that of anxiety and agony, save those precious few moments on the swings or splashing about in a lake. Maybe it's my absence of ovaries or a morbid childhood of my own that prevent me from being fully sympathetic: aside from an unhinged father, I had plenty of friends, schoolwork, G.I. Joes and video games to keep me occupied.