blue jean movie georgia oakley rosy mcewen
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warning: Adult content
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Georgia Oakley
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August 28, 2023
Lesbian Love
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Blue Jean: The World Of Lesbian Love In The Late 80s

Georgia Oakley’s debut feature tells the story of Jean, a sport teacher forced to remain in the closet as she in lives in the UK and under Margaret Thatcher's conservative and very homophobic government. With her poetic and humble take on mentorship and boundaries setting, Oakley delivers a sensational movie, that will probably make you tear up.

Blue Jean is the touching and revolting story of Jean, a PE teacher at a north-east England secondary school. Sadly, because of the newly enacted Section 28 laws, she is forced to conceal her sexuality at work, and remain in the closet. Though fragile, this balance is working for her. However, it becomes greatly compromised when Lois, one of Jean’s student, runs into her at the lesbian bar she frequently goes to with her newly-found love, Viv.

As they acknowledge each other, the boundaries between her personal and professional lives instantly collide. Jean goes on to make a series of rash decision out of fear of being outed at work and losing her job. As a matter of fact, the infamous Section 28 laws, active from 1988 to 2003 in the UK, prohibited the promotion of homosexuality in schools and public spaces by local authorities, directly making LGBTQ+ teacher a prey for the law, perpetuating the stigma around homosexual individuals, and silencing queer voices.

Jean and Viv have to find a way to navigate the storm that their life have become, finding comfort in the lesbian community, but also in each other.

Blue Jean was born from a coincidence, when Georgia Oakley stumbled upon a press article about the 30 years anniversary of the Section 28 laws and dived deep into how it affected the LGBTQ+ community at the time. She aimed to put the lights on a part of the British history that is still quite unknown, and make a film that was, in her own terms, "a conversation with the present", in both her approach of the story, but also the aesthetic of the images.

Even though the subjects of internalized homophobia, fear of rejection, coming out and hidden love are central to Jean’s story, the amount of queer joy she encounters during her journey balances it all and make Blue Jean a beautiful ode to self-love and self-acceptation.

The movie will be shown during the Everybody's Perfect Festival in Geneva between the 6th and 15th of October.

© Blue Jean Productions Ltd. Photo Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.