Anna Rose Holmer’s The Fits (2015) doesn’t reveal all its secrets. We as viewers don’t know the origin of the mysterious fits that one-by-one overtake the girls of the dance team any more than they do. That these fits seem to come with some greater understanding after they are over, occur differently for each girl, and don’t affect the boys, allows for a rich vein of discussion and supposition. Whether the source is environmental, the inevitable transition to womanhood, or ultimately something unknowable, repeated viewings of this film are very rewarding. What is your pet theory about what is going on? Is it informed by your own childhood?
Our hero Toni and her delightful pal Beezy ably join the pantheon of brave and intriguing young girls who must navigate the world and the potential scary monsters in the dark. Happily, this setting is a safe one, with a supportive and protective sibling relationship played out exclusively in the local community center that becomes home. Even though this community of dance sets a high bar for teamwork and demands excellence, it is striking that this environment also does not involve bullying or denigration. I think this film speaks to young people as well as adults, especially with such exceptional girls to root for.
I hope if nothing else you’ll find new favorite characters in Toni and Beezy, and if so inclined, get out and try that thing you have always wanted to try!
What you’ll find in this episode: our theories on what the fits are, how the camera kept the film in a kid’s world, and why dance on film is so important to Ericca.
Links and Recommendations:
Check out The Fits on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of Eighth Grade.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Beasts of the Southern Wild.
The Q-Kidz bring the fierce in a dance battle.