The Cinema Museum, London

The Vito Project presents Madchen in Uniform (1931)

Wed 30 Mar 2016 @ 19:00 · Events

Madchen in UniformReShape and the Cinema Museum present the VITO Project, a series of free monthly screenings bringing generations of LGBTs together to provide an alternative space to mix, watch films and share ideas.

Mädchen in Uniform, (Girls in Uniform) is a 1931 German film based on the play Gestern und Heute (Yesterday and Today) by Christa Winsloe and directed by Leontine Sagan. It tells the story of a sensitive girl who is sent to an all-girls boarding school and develops a romantic attachment to one of her teachers. We will be screening a 16mm print.

Madchen in UniformThe film was groundbreaking in a number of ways: firstly for its all-female cast; secondly for its sympathetic portrayal of lesbian “pedagogical eros” and homoeroticism revolving around the passionate love of a fourteen-year-old (Manuela) for her teacher (von Bernburg); and thirdly for its co-operative and profit-sharing financial arrangements (although in practice these ultimately failed).

The film generated large amounts of fan mail to the stars from all over Germany and was considered a success throughout much of Europe. Later, an alternate ending which subtly pandered to pro-Nazi ideals enabled continued screening in German cinemas, but eventually even this version of the film was banned as ‘decadent’ by the Nazi regime, which reportedly attempted to burn all of the existing prints. Sagan and many others associated with the film fled Germany soon after the banning. Many of the cast and crew were Jewish, and those who could not escape from Germany died in the camps. Prints of the film survived the war, but was heavily censored until the 1970s. The film remains an international cult classic.

The film will be followed by a discussion led by Erica Carter, Professor of German and Film at King’s College, and Muffin Hix, film programmer and festival organiser.

The project is endorsed by BFI Flare, 56 Dean St, Gay’s the Word, ACT UP London, Gay Mates, a Change of Scene, the Cara Trust, I-Base, UK-CAB, Naz Project & Positively UK.

Doors open at 18.00, for a 19.00 start.

Refreshments will be available in our licensed cafe/bar.


Free event. Donations to The Cinema Museum are encouraged.

Find out more about the VITO Project on their website.
Madchen in Uniform