The Getting of Wisdom (1978)

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Plot summary: 1890s. Laura Tweedle Rambotham enters an exclusive Melbourne ladies’ college. The film follows her struggles with acceptance, conformity, romance, friendship and achievement over the next four years.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of racial slurs and bisexual erasure.

In this entry, I look at beauty standards, likability, bisexuality, compulsory heterosexuality and peer pressure in the Australian coming-of-age comedy-drama The Getting of Wisdom. (The content under the cut contains spoilers.)

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A Little Princess (1995)

main Plot Summary: 1914. When her adoring father enlists to fight for the British in the First World War, Sara Crewe is sent to a New York boarding school, where her kindness and imagination transform her classmates’ lives for the better. However, Sara’s belief that all girls are princesses is tested when word comes that her father was killed in action.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of the death of a parent, the separation of children from parents, cultural appropriation, racism, colonialism and classism.

In this entry, I look at princess culture, cultural appropriation, race, class and innocence in the family film A Little Princess. (The content under the cut contains spoilers.) Continue reading “A Little Princess (1995)”

Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

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Plot Summary: In Western Australia, 1931, children with mixed Aboriginal and White ancestry are forcibly removed from their families and incarcerated at the Moore River Native Settlement, to be trained as servants for White people. Sisters Molly and Daisy and their cousin Gracie escape the settlement. Their aim: to walk the 1500 kilometres home to Jigalong, across unforgiving terrain, pursued by the authorities.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog post includes discussions and/or mentions of forced removal of Aboriginal children, rape, racism, child abuse, sexual assault, racism and suicide. It also includes names and images of Aboriginal people who have passed away.

Rabbit-Proof Fence was a smash hit when it was released in Australia in 2002. For me, it’s one of the ultimate girl power films, and all the more powerful for having been based on true events. (The content under the cut contains spoilers.) Continue reading “Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)”

The Hairy Bird (1998)

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Plot Summary: 1963. At Miss Godard’s, an upscale Connecticut girls’ academy, five ambitious and rebellious girls have formed a secret society, where they work to realise their most cherished dreams of what they want to be. But their group is split in two when they discover that Miss Godard’s will be merging with St Ambrose Academy, a boys’ school.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog post contains discussions of bulimia/eating disorders, racism, sexual harassment and sexual assault.

I have never met a woman or girl who didn’t enjoy The Hairy Bird (also known as Strike! in Canada and All I Wanna Do in the USA). My twenty-eight year-old sister loves it, my sixteen-year-old sister loves it (and has done since she was about six), my toddler nieces … will be booted out of the family if they don’t succumb to The Hairy Bird’s siren song as soon as they’re old enough to sit through a movie which includes the phrase, “Go snarf the big kielbasa, Mr Dewey!” (The content under the cut contains spoilers.)

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