Space, Gender, and Identity in Sciamma's Girlhood and Arnold's Fish Tank

in Girlhood Studies
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Abstract

In this article, I explore the use of space in Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank and Céline Sciamma's Bande de Filles, two films that depict the experiences of 15-year-old girls in a British housing estate and a Parisian banlieue respectively. The spatial motifs related to identity that circulate throughout the films establish a regime of flux, ambiguity, and reversibility that contributes to a depiction of female adolescence as unfixed and unsettled. I argue that both films, in their focus on the lived experience of their protagonists, investigate the landscape of economically and socially peripheral spaces to develop a specifically female approach to contemporary coming-of-age narratives that takes into account the difference that gender makes.

Contributor Notes

Marie Puysségur's (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9698-8890) expertise lies in history, literary criticism, and film studies. Beyond being concerned with urban space and gender, her research interests include the study of cross-cultural reception, specifically that of American cinema in postwar Europe, as well as French classical and postwar cinema, especially in relation to their reconfiguration of place, memory, and the national past. Email: mariepuyssegur@outlook.com

Girlhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

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