"Girlhood" film review - 1 Sharon Wang Professor...

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Sharon Wang Professor Ek Writing 2 20 October 2008 Finding Heart in the Juvenile System Set in the Baltimore area of Maryland, Girlhood follows the lives of Shenae and Megan during and after their time at the Thomas J. S. Waxter Children’s Center. Liz Garbus, the director of the documentary, uncovers the strengths and failings of the juvenile system and also, the extent the girls’ environment and family ultimately affects their lives. Accompanying these girls for three years, Garbus exposes difficult situations in such an intimate manner enabling us to look beyond their criminal records and recognize the depth and complexity of each girl. Opening scene: Shenae wears her hair in pigtails, looking innocent and adorable. Her intelligent eyes look intently toward the other girls in the room while she fiercely debates that she was justified. She undoubtedly affirms herself, feeling no remorse for stabbing and killing another girl when she was 11-years old. Annoyed by the girls’ loud disagreement, Shenae leaves the room, unmoved and unbothered. At this point, Shenae seemingly does not know right from wrong. She does not have the morals widely embedded into children’s minds. Cold-blooded killer is a fitting description for her. And yet shockingly, she comes off as bright and mature when she converses. You cannot help but admire and be captivated by her confidence and boisterous attitude.
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