The Fits

Not available for screening anymore

The Fits

Directed by Anna Rose Holmer

  • USA 2015; 71 min
  • Original version: English
  • Genre: Drama
    • Aurora Award - Tromsø IFF
    • Best Narrative Feature, Best Actress (Royalty Hightower) - RiverRun IFF


Toni, a tomboyish boxer, lands a spot on an after- school drill team in the West End community of Cincinnati. Enamored by the power and confidence of the team, Toni eagerly absorbs routines, masters drills, and even pierces her own ears to fit in. As Toni descends deeper into the girls’ world, the lingering nostalgia for her brother’s guidance fades away. We witness the joy of her first friendships and her discovery of dance. Yet, she grapples with her individual identity amid her newly defined social sphere. Shortly after Toni joins the team, the captain faints during practice. By the end of the week, most of the girls on the team suffer from episodes of fainting, swooning, and shaking in a seemingly uncontrollable catharsis. The adults in their community cannot explain the mysterious outbreak. Tension mounts. Soon, these fits transform into a rite of passage as the trauma draws the other girls closer together. Caught between her need for control and her desire for acceptance, Toni must decide how far she will go to embody her new ideals.

Director's Statement

At its heart, THE FITS is a meditation on movement as seen from the perspective of teenage girls. The film explores the particularly adolescent female phenomenon of mass hysteria, also known as mass psychogenic illness. The rapid spread of symptoms affects members of a cohesive group whereby physical ills have no corresponding organic cause. THE FITS juxtaposes the precise, powerful, and intentional movements of drill with subconscious, spontaneous, and uncontrolled movements of collective hysterics.


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