Toni01Anna Rose Holmer, already well-known as a documentary film director, hits a home run with this outstanding feature film debut.

Made on a micro-budget, the story is tightly focused on an African-American kid named “Toni.” In her first screen performance, Royalty Hightower (a young dancer) carries the whole film on her slim but agile shoulders.

Holmer directed The Fits and shares the writing credits with her producer (Lisa Kjerulff) and her editor (Saela Davis). Brava to everyone on both sides of the camera! (JLH: 5/5)

Review by FF2 Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner

It takes a film like The Fits to remind us that the greatest “special effect” on Planet Earth is the human heart!

The Fits, made on a micro-budget, is tightly focused on an African-American kid named “Toni” (Royalty Hightower) who spends all her non-school time at a community center located in Cincinnati’s West End.

When we first meet her, Toni is there because her older brother “Jermaine” (Da’Sean Minor) is there. Jermaine is training to be a boxer. He knows he has promise, so he pushes himself with strenuous daily workouts. Most of the time, he is jumping rope, punching the bag, or doing pull-ups. The rest of the time, he is sweeping up, filling water coolers, or throwing sweaty towels into a huge washing machine. Toni02

Toni is Jermaine’s doppelgänger, a tiny, wordless sprite who imitates his exercises, helps him with his chores, and silently walks home with him, side-by-side, at the end of each long day.

Slowly, with infinite patience, director Anna Rose Holmer and her co-writers Saela Davis and Lisa Kjerulff begin to fill their frame with more kids until the community center is buzzing like a beehive.

Toni, who has been engaged in rigorous solo exercises, becomes curious about the bustling activity. She lifts her eyes from Jermaine and his sparing partners, and notices–seemingly for the first time–that the community center is filled with girls.

As unobtrusively as possible, as if drawn by a huge unseen magnet, Toni edges from the grim grunts on boy’s side of the community center to the cacophony on the girl’s side.

That’s enough about the plot! You can learn what happens next when you go!

What makes The Fits so terrific is not just the what but the how. Holmer and her co-writers draw us into Toni’s world so completely that we become immersed in her POV.

The audio by composers Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans (assisted by Holmer’s sound design team) is extraordinary. The choreography by Mariah and Chariah Jones (assisted by Holmer’s movement consultant Celia Rowlson-Hall) is mesmerizing. So please, please see The Fits on a big screen to get the full effect.

And all the better that along the way Holmer obliterates every male-oriented trope, and uses the extraordinary talents of young Royalty Hightower to show us in intimate detail how a girl really becomes a woman.

© Jan Lisa Huttner (6/2/16) FF2 Media


Top Photo: Royalty Hightower as “Toni.”

Middle Photo: “Toni” doing endless sit-ups.

Bottom Photo: The Lionesses rehearsing. (The Lionesses are played by Cincinnati’s award-winning Q-Kidz Dance Team.)

Photo Credits: Tayarisha Poe / Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories.

Q: Does The Fits pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test? GreenA2016


The final third of the film plays out in an all-estrogen world as Toni struggles to find her place within the hierarchy of The Lionesses Dance Team.

For decades, male filmmakers have insisted that a girl become a woman through sexual experience with a man. In The Fits, we learn that girls become women when they are accepted into the world of women by other women.

Nuff said!


  1. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
    Very helpful info particularly the last part 🙂
    I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular
    information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  2. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure
    of your site? Its very well written; I love what
    youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one
    or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  3. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa?
    My site discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours
    and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you are interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the

  4. I think this is one of the most important info for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some
    general things, The web site style is ideal, the articles is really great :
    D. Good job, cheers

  5. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of
    your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it
    better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having
    one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  6. Hello there I am so delighted I found your blog, I really found you by accident, while
    I was researching on Askjeeve for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like
    to say thanks for a tremendous post and a all round interesting blog (I
    also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the moment but I have book-marked it
    and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be
    back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the superb job.

  7. Wonderful post however I was wanting to know if you could
    write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.

    Bless you!

  8. Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog stand out.

    Please let me know where you got your design. Thank

  9. hey there and thank you for your info – I’ve definitely picked
    up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues using this website, as I experienced to
    reload the website many times previous to I could get it to load correctly.
    I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not
    that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could
    damage your high quality score if ads and marketing
    with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS
    to my email and could look out for a lot more of your
    respective interesting content. Make sure you update this again soon.

  10. I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this site.

    I really hope to see the same high-grade content from you later
    on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own site now 😉

  11. hello!,I really like your writing so a lot! percentage we
    be in contact more approximately your post on AOL? I
    need an expert in this space to resolve my problem.
    Maybe that is you! Looking forward to peer you.

  12. I’m not sure why but this blog is loading incredibly slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it
    a problem on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem
    still exists.

  13. I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else experiencing problems with your website.
    It seems like some of the written text in your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment
    and let me know if this is happening to them as well?
    This might be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen before.


  14. Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem with your site in internet
    explorer, could check this? IE still is the market
    leader and a big section of folks will pass over your great writing because of this problem.

  15. Hey very nice website!! Man .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?
    I am satisfied to seek out so many helpful information here within the post, we want work out more techniques on this regard,
    thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  16. At this time it seems like Expression Engine is the preferred
    blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your

  17. I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but
    good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.

    Thanks for great info I was looking for this information for
    my mission.

  18. First off I would like to say wonderful blog!
    I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your
    thoughts prior to writing. I’ve had a hard time clearing my
    thoughts in getting my ideas out there. I truly do take pleasure in writing but
    it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?

  19. I have been browsing on-line greater than 3 hours these days, yet
    I by no means found any interesting article like yours.
    It is lovely price sufficient for me. In my view, if
    all webmasters and bloggers made just right content material as you probably
    did, the internet can be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  20. First of all I would like to say awesome blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was curious to find out how you center yourself and
    clear your thoughts before writing. I have had a hard
    time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.
    I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are generally wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any
    ideas or hints? Kudos!

  21. Howdy are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the
    blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you need any
    html coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  22. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to
    get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appearance.
    I must say that you’ve done a excellent job with this. Additionally,
    the blog loads extremely fast for me on Safari. Excellent Blog!

  23. Hi there would you mind letting me know which web host
    you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers and I
    must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.
    Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a honest price?

    Thanks, I appreciate it!

  24. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering
    if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that
    automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some
    experience with something like this. Please let me know
    if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and
    I look forward to your new updates.

  25. I got this web page from my buddy who told me regarding this web page and now this time I am browsing this site and reading
    very informative articles or reviews at this place.

  26. Nice weblog here! Additionally your site loads up fast! What web host are you using?
    Can I get your associate hyperlink to your host? I want
    my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  27. Howdy! I know this is kind of off-topic however I had to ask.

    Does operating a well-established website like yours take a massive amount work?
    I am completely new to blogging but I do write in my diary every day.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my personal experience and feelings online.
    Please let me know if you have any recommendations or
    tips for new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

  28. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with
    the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that
    service? Many thanks!

  29. Just wish to say your article is as astounding.
    The clarity for your submit is just excellent and i can think
    you’re knowledgeable in this subject. Well along with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with drawing close
    post. Thanks one million and please continue the enjoyable work.

  30. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s
    truly informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels.

    I will be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Lots of people will be benefited from your writing.

  31. I used to be recommended this web site by my cousin. I’m not positive whether this
    post is written via him as nobody else recognise such special about my trouble.
    You’re wonderful! Thanks!

  32. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this
    website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would
    like to know where u got this from. thanks a lot

  33. Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Thanks

  34. Hey There. I found your weblog the use of msn. That is a really smartly written article.
    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your helpful info.

    Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.

  35. Wow, wonderful weblog format! How long have you ever been running a blog for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is
    excellent, let alone the content material!

  36. I will immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can not
    find your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Please let me recognise in order that I may just subscribe.

  37. Great site. Lots of helpful information here. I’m sending it to a few
    pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks in your effort!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *