Starring an all-female cast, Mädchen in Uniform is an enduring classic of lesbian cinema. Manuela, a sensitive new arrival at a school for the daughters of military officers, falls hopelessly in love with a charismatic teacher, Fräulein von Bernburg, eliciting the wrath of the headmistress, pitiless martinet Fräulein von Nordeck zur Nidden.
Made on the eve of Nazi ascendence, the film stands as a nuanced parable of authoritarianism, yet it's also a moving portrait of burgeoning sapphic desire, rendered with great technical skill. ‘With this work, the pre-war German sound film reached its highest level', the film historian Lotte Eisner observed. 'Leontine Sagan, a stage-actress, directed the dialogue admirably. She brings out the unselfconscious naïvety of the boarders' confidences whispered across the dormitory, and the flush of love trembling in the cracked voice of the adolescent.'
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