“Blue Jean“, the new film written and directed by Georgia Oakley, was awarded the Audience Award in Venice during the 19th edition of the Authors’ Days.
England, 1988 – Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government is about to pass a law stigmatizing gays and lesbians, forcing Jean, a gym teacher, to live a double life. As pressure mounts from all sides, the arrival of a new girl at school catalyses a crisis that will challenge Jean to her core.
England, 1988. Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government has introduced Section 28, a clause of the Local Government Act which seeks to prohibit “the promotion of homosexuality” by local authorities across the United Kingdom. For Jean, a gym teacher whose sexuality is a secret from her colleagues, the threat is immediate and real: if exposed, her love life could cost her her job. At work, every sidelong glance, every whisper, and every query about Jean’s private life is a threat.
But sympathy from her girlfriend Viv, played by Kerrie Hayes (“Nowhere Boy“, “Black mirror“) also feels limited. Out and proud, and part of a co-operative of similarly assertive lesbian women, Viv regards secrecy as capitulation to an increasingly oppressive system.
As pressure mounts from all sides, the arrival of a new girl at school catalyses a crisis that will challenge Jean to her core. Anchored by a stunning performance from Rosy McEwen (“The alienist“, “Vesper“), this poised and penetrating debut by writer-director Georgia Oakley grips like a thriller, whilst exploring with intense sensitivity a period in British history the effects of which still resonate in countless lives today.
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