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A 16-year-old girl views sex as a way to escape her dysfunctional family. This partially improvised film is a character study of a young Parisian rebel, marking the prize-winning screen debut of Sandrine Bonnaire.
Selected by Alice Diop
A young man’s journey from a village school in Bengal to university in Kolkata, where he discovers a new world. In a film inspired by Italian neo-realism, an individual coming of age presages India’s modernisation and its path to independence.
Selected by Aparna Sen
A sensitive teenager tries to gain a foothold in a Paris banlieue amidst gang wars and a criminal family. The film is a social grotesquerie that uses lyrical exaggeration and surreal scenes of violence to track youthful sensibilities.
Selected by Nadav Lapid
After seeing the film, a young girl develops an eerie fascination with the monster in the horror classic Frankenstein. An ambiguous film about childhood fears that masterfully blends reality and imagination onscreen.
Selected by Carla Simón
A school principal tries in vain to put a stop to the antics of a notorious truant. With its generation-specific references, this high-school comedy by John Hughes set the benchmark for the genre and gleefully showcased Matthew Broderick’s talents.
Selected by Nadine Labaki
A six-year-old girl is used to being adored. She has an identity crisis when a new boy in the neighbourhood refuses to idolise her. This sensitive portrait of a youngster does not trivialise childhood distress, but takes it seriously.
Selected by Sergei Loznitsa
A grouchy TV weatherman ends up in a time loop that keeps him trapped in a small town. His inner transformation, which wins him the sympathy of the locals and the affections of his producer, is as heart-warming as it is funny.
Selected by Nora Fingscheidt
A drama about young foundling Kaspar Hauser, who resists all attempts to integrate him into the Biedermeier society of the 1830s. In Herzog’s version, lay actor Bruno S. delivers a fascinating portrayal of the romanticised misfit.
Selected by Mohammad Rasoulof
Eight-year-old Ahmed is determined to return his best friend’s school notebook so the other boy doesn’t get expelled. But adults keep getting in the way and leading him astray. This Iranian children’s film inexorably exposes the grown-ups’ ignorance.
Selected by Niki Karimi
A young child and her elderly neighbour encounter a host of hurdles buying a bag of rice in the teeming metropolis of Tehran. This formally reductive, yet delightful film features a vivid amateur performance in the child lead.
Selected by Tilda Swinton
In small-town Texas at the beginning of the 1950s, two friends deal with the dilemma of growing up. When the local movie theatre shuts down, they are forced to bid farewell to their youth. The film is a bittersweet, beautiful New Hollywood classic.
Selected by M. Night Shyamalan
A young runaway roams the beach and amusement park at Coney Island. Shot from his perspective, the film becomes a dense weave of everyday observation, and a masterpiece of location shooting that powerfully influenced the French New Wave.
Selected by Wes Anderson
Akademie der Künste
Akademie der Künste
Searching for his missing girlfriend in the titular teeming metropolis, a young rural fisherman is marginalised and oppressed. But he also discovers solidarity among the poorest of the poor. A milestone social melodrama from the developing world.
Selected by Lav Diaz
Zaftig, 22-year-old Muriel Heslop dreams of a fairy prince and a glamorous wedding. She escapes a toxic family situation and finds independence and self-confidence in this wacky romantic comedy enriched with ample irony and oodles of ABBA songs.
Selected by Karoline Herfurth
A mix of narrative and documentary about the director’s own date rape in high school. In re-enactments and conversations between the director and the young actors, the film reflects on the sequence of events and their life-changing consequences.
Selected by Céline Sciamma