It’s time for March Madness, aka doing what the fuck we want on the Collab! You know, in contrast, to every other month on the blog. Though Feminist February is over, we’re still all about celebrating the achievements of ladies with this month’s pick.
The future of a dance drill team is in doubt when the girls on the team begin experiencing mysterious seizures.
Toni is a quiet pre-teen who mostly keeps to herself. She boxes with her brother until one day she sees her school’s dance drill team at practice. The girls on the drill team are practically royalty, winning trophy after trophy, having each other’s back as a girl gang, and wearing phenomenally glittery sequined costumes.
When she shows up for practice, Toni gets a place to belong even while her brother feels disappointed and left behind. Though Toni initially has trouble getting the moves down and demonstrating the poise that seems to come naturally to the other girls, she is persistent and practices constantly. She also makes her first friend, which is flipping adorable.
The girls are on track for their next competition until the girls on the team begin experiencing seizures–the titular fits. Initially concerned parents believe the school’s contaminated water supply have caused these side effects, but tests find nothing amiss. As the girls are struck with the fits one by one, they wonder with fear and excitement who will be next. Will it be Toni?
3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads
I’ll be honest–I had real difficulties staying focused on the first half of this. There are some wonderfully shot scenes, but there’s so little plot and not much dialogue either. Toni is initially very closed-off, so it can be hard to feel overly invested in her character.
However, the last half is thoroughly absorbing and conveys the fear and excitement of girls growing up and embracing their strength. I love the symbolism of the fits as black female power that draw out the girls’ confidence in themselves and each other. The drill team becomes a force unto itself by the end of the film, and Toni stands successfully on her own and as part of the girl gang.
Also shout out to a film set and shot in Cincinnati, a mere stone’s throw from my hometown!