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Mädchen in Uniform
Directed by Leontine Sagan and Carl Froelich • 1931 • Germany
Starring Hertha Thiele, Dorothea Wieck, Emilia Unda
This landmark of lesbian cinema was the first of just three films made by actor and director Leontine Sagan. She brings a remarkable sensitivity and erotic charge to the story of Manuela (Hertha Thiele), a new student at an all-girls boarding school who—persecuted by the rigid headmistress (Emilia Unda)—falls in love with a compassionate teacher (Dorothea Wieck). Finding her feelings requited, the lonely Manuela experiences first love while also discovering the complexities that come with an illicit romance. The first German film to be cooperatively produced, MÄDCHEN IN UNIFORM endures not only for its groundbreaking homoerotic themes but as a powerful antifascist statement.