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Watchlist: Curators' Picks - Young Programmers coming of age picks

still from water lilies
22 May 2020

Our Barbican Young Programmers pick their favourite coming-of-age films

As Barbican Young Programmers, we know an essential part of Chronic Youth is to champion and platform films that might not have received as much attention as they deserve. As a collective, we have chosen an all-female director list of films that redefine the coming-of-age genre through challenging convention in spectacular and imaginative ways.


Water Lilies on Amazon

This directorial debut from Celine Sciamma is a heart-wrenching look at first love and a remarkably fresh and moving portrait of what it means to be a teenage girl. Watch the trailer

Atlantics on Netflix 

French Senegalese director Mati Diop feature debut focus on those who are left behind by those who migrate in search of a better life. Atlantics is a story of migration from a feminist perspective with spiritual roots.  Watch the trailer.

Persepolis on Amazon / YouTube / Google Play

Beginning during the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, this visually striking animated film ties the themes of family, adaptation, oppression and freedom together in an enthralling story of a bold young girl, as she finds autonomy in an unfriendly world. Watch the trailer.

Beach Rats on Amazon / Netflix / YouTube

Eliza Hittman’s searing film examines the contention between queer identity and hyper masculinity, together in the pressure cooker of teenage life in Brooklyn. Watch the trailer.

Mustang on Amazon / YouTube

Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s debut tells the story of five teenage sisters growing up in rural Anatolia. Their family’s expectation is for them to get married, turning the house into a “wife factory” as the girls strive for freedom. Mustang is a tale of intimacy and female rebellion. Watch the trailer.

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