Being a teenager is never easy. Those years between child- and adulthood are challenging for parents and children alike and a frequent topic for dramas on stage, screen and pages.
Director Sally Potters new film Ginger & Rosa tells the tale of two teenage girls and places it in the troubled times of a nuclear war dawning on the horizon. We know today the entire earth was never erased, but it did feel probable to some in the sixties that it would. This fear of an approaching end is one underlying emotion in Ginger & Rosa and gives the film more emotional depth than it would carry otherwise …
Ginger (Elle Fanning) and Rosa (Alice Englert) have been best friends forever. They are now seventeen, still dress as twins and tend to make first experiences of smoking or boys with the other one close by. They discuss politics, hairstyles and religion, but it quickly becomes clear that the girls are heading in different directions. While Rosa is seeking lifelong love and begins focusing on her outward appearance (her eyeliner skills are quite impressive), Ginger joins the political movement and worries about the state of the world. The sexual revolution and threat of a nuclear holocaust fuel their lifes, actions and beliefs, and both are in their own way eager to escape what they feel their mothers domestic heritage might be.
When Rosa begins an affair with Gingers father, things begin to fall apart. In the end it all boils down to principles vs. humanity / community vs. a single life and the broken heart of a little girl – who wanted to grow up too fast.
Watching the trailer I thought the film would be entertaining, but fairly generic and boring, but thinking about it now that it’s been a week since I saw it, I’m actually fairly impressed with the various strings it throws at the audience. Each viewer, I suppose will grab their own and unravel the story their own way – all you ahve to do is latch on.
Ginger & Rosa (D: Sally Potter, UK/DK/CAN/CRO 2012)