Ginger and Rosa
Ginger and RosaOriginal Title: Ginger and Rosa
Director: Sally Potter
United Kingdom, Canada, Croatia, Denmark | English
Iconoclastic UK director Sally Potter (Orlando
, The Man Who Cried
) returns to London’s restless sixties, the era in which the director grew up herself, to capture the coming of age of two seemingly inseparable teenagers. With stout but subtle perfomances by young Elle Fanning (who lit up Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere
) and Alice Englert (who happens to be the daughter of Jane Campion) in the respective title roles, the riches and pitfalls of their youth are inescapably intertwined with the larger themes of political tension, nuclear anxiety and forboding hints of sexual revolution. Blunt and raw-edged, Ginger and Rosa
sketches a sobering
picture of the dreams and hopes of these two youngsters, determined to escape the eventless lives of their post-war housewife-mothers, yet unprepared for the consequences.
Both emblematic characters of Cold War youth and sharply defined individuals in their own right, Ginger and Rosa skip school to engage in passionate debates about gender, sex, hairdos
and, most of all, politics. Their bond starts to falter when Ginger, more intellectually charged and dramatically influenced by her charismatic pacifist writer father Roland (Alessandro
Nivola), takes up outright anti-bomb activism, while Rosa grows into a much more shallow sort of young woman. The gap between Roland’s political ethics and his personal conduct, and the betrayal by her best friend, prove an emotional challenge for 13-year old Ginger. With the Cuban Missile Crisis turning nuclear annihilation into a real possibility and the obliteration of a safe domestic base and solid friendship, Ginger clutches at one hope: if she can help to save the world from extinction, perhaps she too will survive this moment of personal devastation.
– Miryam van Lier