Directed by Leontine Sagen
Starring Hertha Thiele, Dorothea Wieck, Emilia Unda, Ellen Schwanneke
Mädchen in Uniform may have been released in 1931, but it is a film with a thoroughly modern edge. Manuela is a rebellious teenager who is enrolled in an all-girls boarding school towards the end of Weimar era Germany. When she develops an intense crush on her kind teacher Fräulein von Bernburg, Manuela gets them both into trouble with the strict headmistress.
As what is thought to be one of the first overt portrayals of homosexuality in film, with an all-female cast, directed by a Jewish woman on the cusp of World War II, Madchen in Uniform is an important queer-feminist cinematic time capsule. Aside from this, however, it has also earned cult status as an engrossing coming-of-age classic about the pain and passion of first love, brought to life by a humorous ensemble of teens who could have stepped out of any 21st century high school.
Screening as part of: Storyhouse Gems.