Even after being where you have spent most of your life, schools often fail to instill correct values in their rule books. Apart from having a flawed education system, the way they treat students is sometimes so sad that it leaves a mark on their memory. Saying sexist things in the open and having the decency to issue strange rules, the school has secured a very high place in promoting this activity. If we try to remember our own school days, especially as teenage girls, we can recall some events that felt out of bounds. Pulling girls out of their class and telling them that their hairstyle or the length of their skirt can provoke a boy’s interest in them is literally the most fun thing any girl has ever seen.
Sometimes, only girls are taken out for separate seminars where they are told how their daily habits or parts of their social behavior can actually be very disturbing to boys. So why aren’t boys pulled out of class and warned to be within their limits? Upcoming Netflix film titled Courage is a similar story about a group of rebellious teenage girls, fed up with sexism in their school.
Courage is a digital adaptation of Jennifer Mathieu’s 2015 novel of the same name. As the trailer begins, we are introduced to a shy and socially conscious 16 year old girl, Vivian, and her rebellious and friendly mother, Lisa. She asks her mother what the average 16 year old cares about? Yang Lisa set her own example, stating that when she was her age, she only cared about destroying patriarchy and burning things down. Vivian then finds an old metal rod that makes her live Lisa’s student life as a rebellious girl, who keeps her head held high no matter what and is a revolution.
Vivian is very shy and awkward when it comes to social interactions and is really cared for in school. Her school was a place where blatant sexism was practiced, and she felt that the less visible she was, the better for her. The boys from the school football team, led by sexist soccer star Mitchell, have a ritual of listing the hottest girls in school. Vivian, the painfully shy girl, lowered her head at all costs and avoided any attention. But things change for her when a new girl at her school, Alycia, is harassed by Mitchell and refuses to back down.
She goes in to talk to her coordinator about the types of behavior she faces. Its coordinator named him being bullied, only to avoid making a fuss. But when Alycia explained that she had been harassed by Mitchell, she said it as if it was just some paperwork and nothing serious. Alycia comes face to face with Vivian in the hallway and tells him this school is strange. Vivian advised her to keep her head down and ignore such behavior coming from other people, because she felt, once they were ignored, the men would stop bothering her and catch other people. Alycia clearly disliked her ideology of surviving high school and said she had better stay tough. On the contrary, he will keep him high.
Facing similar incidents of sexism and prejudice at her school, Vivian finds it difficult to keep everything around her normal and normal. He begins to question the quality of thinking and how no one cares about all the things girls have to go through. But Vivian has gone to her mother’s back. He talked to Lisa and came to know how she handled things. Lisa told her how she and her friends protested against every unfair deed and act that was thrown at them. She accepted that she had made a lot of mistakes, but until recently, she really didn’t regret it. Understanding everything, Vivian immediately began to be inspired by the words of her mother and her past. She began to reassess her priorities and silly views after she learned that her mother was part of the rioting underground feminist movement in the 1990s.
“I’m happy to be working with my friend again.”
– Edit (@bbctheedit) 27 February 2021
Taking a leaf from Lisa’s book, Vivian created a zine entitled Courage, who is calling for sexism in her community and school, and secretly spreading it to her friends. In the trailer, we see students agreeing to whatever is printed on the zine because they’ve, at some point, been through it all. A girl at Vivian’s school talks about how chaotic the school is. She was once sent home for wearing a tank top to school, meanwhile, a boy named Jason keeps hanging around school shirtless, and no one wants to reprimand him. Soon, views and stories began to arrive about how people refused to refer to a girl by her real name and how other girls felt uncomfortable by adding her name to the list of hot girls where boys gave her inappropriate tags. The Vivian movement immediately began to spark campaigns and protests and eventually turned into a full-scale revolution.
The girls immediately vent their idea of saying people draw stars and hearts on their hands, to show. A tremendous amount of support immediately started flowing with people starting to draw symbols as a sign to show their support for the revolutionary magazine. Not only girls but some boys from the school also came to support the rebellion movement that aims to debunk prejudice. The revolution that made all the girls in the school stand tall immediately came to the attention of the school fraternity. We saw the coordinator and the teacher feel uncomfortable when they tried to denounce the sexism on the faces of the students but, instead, have to face criticism because the girls are now in no mood to tolerate anything unpleasant.
Speaking of his upcoming film, actor-director Amy Poehler said that Courage self-developed. Kim Lessing and Paper Kite visited him one day and asked him to read Moxie’s novel. When he finished reading the entire book, he felt it might really be a great digital adaptation. So the team developed it with Jennifer and welcomed Tamara Chestna and Dylan Meyer to write the script. Amy feels that Vivian’s character has undergone many changes throughout the film.
Vivian at the beginning of the film and at the end of the film is in total contradiction. He thrived as he continued to observe others around him. There’s a good chunk of internal chaos she has to get to grips with, and luckily, the female lead Hadley is totally awesome at it. Amy felt that her daughter was very curious and gentle and could do a lot when she listened. Hadley, talking about her character, said that Vivian had super powers to absorb information. He initially sat down with Kim Lessing and talked with him about all the issues raised by the script. At first, when he had to go in for an audition, he was nervous. But when she walked in, it felt like home. And at that moment, he knew that he was eager to collaborate with Amy.
Directed by Amy Poehler, the film stars Hadley Robinson as Vivian Carter in the lead alongside Josephine Langford as Emma Cunningham, Lauren Tsai as Claudia, Patrick Schwarzenegger as Mitchell Wilson, Amy Poehler as Lisa Carter, Ike Barinholtz as Mr. Davies, Marcia Gay Harden as Principal Marlene Shelly, Clark Gregg as John, Sydney Park as Kiera Pascal, Nico Hiraga as Seth Acosta, Alycia Pascual-Peña as Lucy Hernandez, Anjelika Washington as Amaya, Joshua Walker as Jason. Josie Totah as CJ, Sabrina Haskett as Kaitlynn Price, Charlie Hall as Bradley, and various other important roles. Moxie will be released on Netflix on March 3, 2021.