Spanish – The outrage caused by the film Cuties due to its inappropriate sexualization of children and its open apologia for pedophilia did not prevent it from reaching the list of finalists for the next edition of the Oscar awards.
Despite the wave of criticism and rejection caused by the Netflix fiction film based on the journey of a dance group of teenagers with “sexual and compromising positions,” it will compete as the best international feature film, reported the Post Millennial.
The decision was made by the selection committee of the French Oscars, which chose the film along with five other films for this category, says the Canadian publication.
Cuties’ trailer, which has so far accumulated two million “dislikes” on YouTube and originated the viral hashtag “#CancelNetflix” to promote the discontinuation of subscriptions to the platform, shows that “no publicity is bad publicity,” says the Post Millennial.
According to the website, “the outrage of millions across social media heightened the visibility of the film to a level that the director likely never could have predicted.”
Always in the controversy
The Hollywood selection shows its tendency to qualify films with controversial plots based on racism, incitement to violence, or misogyny, according to El País.
“Suspicious selections” in the past stand out, says film critic Thelma Adams in an interview with the BBC.
“If you compare the best picture Oscar winners of the past two decades with the top-ranked movies of each year, the Oscars don’t usually pick the year’s best films,” Adams says.
The discrepancies are generated because “American critics are biased,” says Thelma Adams.
About 7,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will vote for Cuties and the final round that takes place only two weeks before the ceremony “rests on which names are being talked about at that time,” says the BBC.
But the path for Cuties will depend on whether the movie manages to capture the right moment,” outlines Sasha Stone, spokeswoman for the BBC’s Awards Daily site.
A director without credit
Netflix will face legal action in the United States over the French film that its executive director, Ted Sarandos, is working hard to defend because he believes it is “misunderstood,” according to Deadline.
“It is a very misunderstood film by some audiences, only within the United States,” Sarandos said, noting that “the film speaks for itself” because he believes “it is a very personal film about coming of age.”
He strives to argue that the “film has worked very well and has been shown in theaters throughout Europe without any of this controversy.”
However, their statements are not entirely true. On the Change.org platform, there is a signature collection initiated in Argentina with more than 312,000 signatures against the controversial film.
In Brazil, the government of Jair Bolsonaro tried to prohibit the screening of the film, but the STF (Supreme Federal Court) prevented it.
There is also already a parental guide issued by the IMDB database that rates the film’s sex and nudity as “severe.”
However, this seems premeditated. “Netflix drives the revolt in its DNA. There is no doubt about it,” considers El Confidencial.
With American repudiation
Texas Congressman Matt Schaefer revealed that a grand jury has formally charged Netflix with “promoting lewd visual material depicting [a] minor” and that it could face charges for distributing material that amounts to child pornography.
The document states that Netflix “knowingly promoted visual material depicting the lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was under the age of 18. The visual material appeals to an interest in sex and has no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
Senator Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, declared that “like any parent,” he finds “the decision to sell child pornography repugnant,” reported the New York Times.
On the other hand, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, from Hawaii, a former Democratic presidential candidate, has expressed her opinion along the same lines, predicting that “it will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles and help fuel child sex trafficking.”
Meanwhile, a Netflix spokeswoman quoted by the NYT rejects accusations that the film is “a social commentary on the sexualization of young children.”
An obsession on the screen
“When I was a child, the question of how to become a woman was my obsession,” confessed the film’s director, Maïmouna Doucouré, according to the New York Times.
Her efforts to elevate her “personal story, as well as the story of many children who have to navigate between a liberal Western culture and a conservative culture at home” now keep her amid social media attacks.
She spent a year and a half between research and “meeting with hundreds of pre-teens to prepare the film,” the NYT says.
Doucouré has said that she “needed to know how they felt about their own femininity in today’s society and how they were dealing with their own image at a time when social media is so important.
Although she is keen to ensure that “the film is bold and feminist,” she will have to wait for the gala to know if this film manages to seduce the critics with its erotic scenes of underage people, dismissing that it promotes children as bait for predators.
A reserve forecast
Already with the path of censorship avoided, Cuties “sets a precedent and will likely lead to other directors making similar content, especially if it manages to walk away with an Oscar,” warns the Post Millennial.
In February, the film portraying a Muslim girl of Senegalese origin struggling between her traditional family values and the influence of the Internet won an award from the Sundance Institute.