Sunday, March 13, 2011

Girls in and out of hell

Shanae is a feminine, naturally upbeat young African-American woman with a will of iron and a mouth that won't stop. Her face is sweetly Kewpie doll-like, with dark brown eyes--deep, watchful, and extremely intelligent. At the age of 10, in 1998, five boys raped her. Later that year, she was convicted of killing another girl during a fight.

Megan, the other "star" of Garbus' film, looks somewhat like a more angular biracial Angelina Jolie. She's 16 when we first meet her in Girlhood, incarcerated for assault charges (injuring another girl with a box cutter) and bouncing between radical mood swings... "All my life, everyone been telling me you're gonna end up just like your mother. I think, subconsciously, I been doing that."
The daughter of Vernessa, a recidivist addict and prostitute, Megan grew up in 11 foster homes and ran away from 10 of them. Before the age of 10, she had been committed to two psychiatric hospitals and diagnosed with manic-depressive disorder. At 14, she caught a bullet during somebody else's gunfight.

[cont'ed at URL]

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