Follow the Socials: Our Review of ‘Bloom’ at CFF 2023

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, What's Streaming? by - March 31, 2023
Follow the Socials: Our Review of ‘Bloom’ at CFF 2023

As I get older, I become increasingly glad I did not grow up in a world where social media existed. I can’t imagine the constant pressure. Yet, for today’s youth, this online world surrounds them, an extension of their personality, an attempt at belonging. Bloom (Jouvencelles) examines the lives of three groups of teenaged girls, largely through their presence online. Some of these young women are searching for identity, some are looking for self-affirmation. For some, it’s the only way they know how to connect, revealing their most personal secrets to relative strangers.

Bloom is director Fanie Pelletier’s feature documentary debut, and when filming her subjects in the real world, she chooses to stay very close, creating intimacy and connection. She creates contrast in her work.  While we often see these young women on their social accounts, watching as they edit their pictures to make their waists smaller and remove blemishes, curating their online presence, she also films them just being kids, running through a field laughing and talking with one another.  “It’s so tranquil,” one says to her friends as they float in a lake under the summer sun. Unsurprisingly this tranquility comes at the one time no one has their phone in their hands, looking to see what post has the most likes.

While Bloom does sometimes get a little repetitive and can at times seem aimless, its impact still hits hard. These young women are constantly exposed to an onslaught of social media where online bullying and body image issues issues are just a couple of the challenges affecting their mental health and well-being. The intense influence it has on them is, quite frankly, terrifying and Bloom, if nothing else, certainly drives that message home.

  • Release Date: 3/31/2023
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Hillary is a Toronto based writer, though her heart often lives in her former home of London, England. She has loved movies for as long as she can remember, though it was seeing Jurassic Park as a kid that really made it a passion. She has been writing about film since 2010 logging plenty of reviews and interviews since then, especially around festival season. She has previously covered the London Film Festival, TIFF (where she can often be found frantically running between venues) and most recently Sundance (from her couch). She is a member of the Online Association of Female Film Critics. When she’s not watching films or writing about them, she can be found at her day job as a veterinarian. Critic and vet is an odd combination, but it sure is a great conversation starter at an interview or festival!
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