Rosy McEwen won a Best Lead Performance at the British Independent Film awards and the film was BAFTA nominated for Outstanding Debut for Georgia Oakley, director, and Hélène Sifre, producer. It is set in England in 1988, when Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government is about to pass the appalling and infamous Section 28, stigmatizing gays and lesbians, by forbidding the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ by local authorities, 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.
A supremely accomplished debut feature from writer-director Georgia Oakley, Blue Jean captures a specific moment in British history with almost uncanny accuracy. The graininess of the photography, the well-chosen soundtrack of punchy 1980s electro-socialist pop anthems, the way that Jean’s costumes subtly shift as she crosses between the straight world and the gay one: it’s as persuasive as it is powerful.
Venue: William Loveless Hall