Cuties: the story of Maïmouna Doucouré’s drama is one of coming of age and revolt against a culture that doesn’t treat her, nor ever will, as a worthy individual. It is a touching journey, made harder by the lack of a proper role model to guide the protagonist and her friends. Their choices are misguided; the film can be misconstrued because of it, by those that were not paying attention. The film misses its landing, but it takes a cold, hard look at a multitude of issues in present-day society. Fathia Youssouf is winning as the protagonist, smart, observant, and brave. As her lively friend and inspiration, Médina El Aidi-Azouni is also quite good. Maïmouna Gueye gives a quiet, dignified performance as the suffering mother. Well put together, with a tight runtime.