19 user 38 critic

Divines (2016)

1:49 | Trailer
A street teenager from a dysfunctional family from a banlieue (HLMs) in Paris comes across a young dancer who turns her life upside down.


Houda Benyamina


Houda Benyamina (adaptation), Houda Benyamina (dialogue) | 5 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Oulaya Amamra ... Dounia
Déborah Lukumuena Déborah Lukumuena ... Maimouna
Kevin Mischel Kevin Mischel ... Djigui (as Kevin Mishel)
Jisca Kalvanda Jisca Kalvanda ... Rebecca
Yasin Houicha Yasin Houicha ... Samir
Majdouline Idrissi Majdouline Idrissi ... Myriam, la mère
Bass Dhem ... Monsieur Camara
Mounir Margoum ... Cassandra
Farid Larbi Farid Larbi ... Reda
Maryama Soumare Maryama Soumare ... Madame Camara (as Mariama Soumaré)
Wilfried Romoli Wilfried Romoli ... Rachid
Tania Dessources Tania Dessources ... Madame Labutte
Mounir Amamra Mounir Amamra ... Gars cité
Samir Zbrouki Samir Zbrouki ... Gervais
Mohamed Ourdache Mohamed Ourdache ... Agent de sécurité


Dounia, a teenager living in the slums and her friend Maimouna start working for Rebecca, a successful drug dealer in order to escape their poverty. Her meeting with Djigui, a sexy dancer, makes things complicated, but leaving Rebecca is not easy.. Written by bguttel

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama


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Parents Guide:

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France | Qatar



Release Date:

18 November 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Divinas See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »


Box Office


€2,440,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Oulaya Amamra is director Houda Benyamina's little sister. See more »


References Hot Fuzz (2007) See more »


Et in terra pax (Gloria in Excelsis Deo)
performed by Gillian Keith, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
© 2016 Easy Tiger
See more »

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User Reviews

Fabulous crie de coeur
3 January 2017 | by ReganRebeccaSee all my reviews

Houda Benyamina's stunning debut Divines immediately reminded me of Céline Sciamma's Girlhood. The two films follow similar protagonists, both 16 year old girls growing up in the rough banlieu of Paris. But while Girlhood was the story of a girl growing up in the ghetto told by someone who wasn't from that area, Benyamina is someone who came from those places and understands it intimately and as a result her film feels more vibrant and multi- dimensional.

Divines is focused on Dounia (Oulaya Amamra, phenomenal), a plucky young teen who lives in makeshift tent camp with her mother who drinks too much and sleeps around. As a result Dounia had to grow up fast. Like a teenage Robin Hood she shoplifts from grocery stores bringing basic necessities to her neighbours and friends. While at school she is treated with condescension by a teacher, trying to inform her how to behave in order to get the low wage entry level positions she'll probably be doomed to occupying her whole life and decides that that isn't for her. Instead, thinking only of money, she hustles her way into getting a job with Rebecca, the neighbourhood drug dealer.

Now in another movie (like Girlhood) this would be represented in a very moralistic fashion but Benyamina shows how for someone like Dounia, working her way up to drug dealer is probably the quickest, most interesting way for her to achieve her goals. And while Dounia does some morally dubious things the movie understands why and never judges her.

Benyamina also has some fun playing with her characters and her style and there are some dance and fantasy sequences that make this play like a ghetto fairy tale. But she never forgets her serious side either. Divines is ultimately a film about forgotten people trying to make it anyway they can and Benyamina makes sure that you remember them.

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