This chapter explores the dynamics of vulnerability, violence and relatedness at work in the psychological development of Marieme/Vic (Karidja Touré), the protagonist of Céline Sciamma’s Bande de Filles/Girlhood (France, 2014). Drawing initially on psychoanalytic notions of “the girl-gang state of mind” articulated in the work of Donald Meltzer (1973), and on Luce Irigaray’s (1977/1985) concept of parler femme (speaking [as] woman), it argues that dimensions of “unspeakable” feminine experience are brought to life on the cinema screen for viewers as “gestures of girlhood”. In order to consider the thematic significance of discourses of “race” that surround the film, this chapter also turns to Black feminist theory to reflect on what it means to view it (and to write about it) from a position inscribed in white privilege. The methodological implications of this approach for intersectional scholarship are also addressed, providing an important frame of reference for the discussion as a whole. The chapter presents the concept of a “bruised aesthetic”, suggesting that such a notion allows for the cinematic evocation of vulnerability and pain and thus helps to constitute active forms of subjectivity and voice that can be depicted through gestures of textual rupture and plurality.