Culture Street

A hit at the Sundance Film Festival and based on the acclaimed provocative novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, The Diary of a Teenage Girl recounts the coming-of-age adventures of Minnie Goetze, a San Francisco teenager growing up in the counterculture haze of the 1970s. Lonely and artistic, Minnie chronicles her trials through expressive drawings and painfully honest missives confided to a tape recorder. One fateful evening alone with her mother's boyfriend, Minnie is confronted with her burgeoning sexuality for the first time, and suddenly this precocious teen is in way over her head. ?Directed by Marielle Heller, Bel Powley plays 15-year old Minnie. The supporting cast includes Kirstin Wiig as Minnie’s mother and Alexander Skarsgard as Monroe.

The film has been criticised for promoting under age teenage sex but Bel Powley says this is not what the story is about.

“Obviously we’re not trying to promote an under-age girl sleeping with a man 20- years her senior. The story isn’t about that relationship. It’s about Minnie’s coming of age, about her discovering her sexuality,” she told The Telegraph.

Powley says the film gives a more realistic view of teenage sexuality.

“Growing up, all I would see in movies was either the virginal princess waiting for her Prince Charming; the slut who slept with loads of people then got punished for it; or the asexual, geeky, sarcastic girl. I remember watching those films and thinking, 'I’m not like that. Does that make me a freak?’”

The Diary of a Teenage Girl opens in the UK on August 7 and Australian on September 24.

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