Director Anna Rose Holmer’s unusual rites-of-passage drama The Fits is spare and slow moving, but Royalty Hightower’s charismatic presence holds our attention to the end.

The Fits Royalty Hightower

“Dreamily surreal”

At a community centre in a predominantly African-American quarter of Cincinnati, the boys train to box while the girls pursue the no less martial activity of competitive drill dancing. Eleven-year-old tomboy Toni (Royalty Hightower) practices boxing under the eye of her elder brother but becomes entranced by the girls’ rehearsals and joins their team. As she strives to fit in with the group, however, its members begin to fall victim to an outbreak of strange epileptic-like seizures.

Unusual rites-of-passage drama The Fits recalls 2014’s art-house drama The Falling, which saw a fainting epidemic in a 1969 English girls school. Director Anna Rose Holmer’s debut movie is spare, slow moving and sometimes dreamily surreal. But Hightower’s charismatic screen presence holds our attention to the end.

Certificate 12. Runtime 72 mins. Director Anna Rose Holmer

The Fits is available on DVD & Digital Download from Lionsgate UK.