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Director: Liz Garbus
USA: 82 mins
USA Release Date: 31 October 2003 (Limited Release)
GIRLHOOD, the new documentary film from Academy Award-nominated director Liz Garbus, tells the moving coming-of-age stories of two troubled yet marvellously self-aware young girls from Baltimore, Maryland. Shanae, ten years old when she was gang-raped by five boys, responded by drinking and using drugs, and then graduated to murder, with the stabbing death of a friend, at age 11. Megan, whose heroin-addicted mother abandoned her to turn tricks, ran away from ten different foster homes before being arrested for attacking another foster child with a box cutter. Both girls ended up in the Waxter Juvenile Facility, home to Maryland's most violent juvenile offenders. It is here that their journeys really begin. With unprecedented access to the system and to the complex interior lives of the protagonists, GIRLHOOD follows Shanae and Megan over the next three years of their lives, as they struggle to come to terms with their crimes, their pasts, and their futures.