Gender and Identity at Boarding Schools: Outcast Teachers in Maedchen in Uniform (1958) vs Loving Annabelle (2006)

Petruta Tatulescu


“Loving Annabelle”, a US film released in 2006, tells the story of a boarding school student who falls in love with her teacher. The movie is based on “Maedchen in Uniform”, a German movie released in 1958. This paper aims at analyzing the perception of love, and in particular lesbian love, over the course of a century by dealing with the comparison between the two movies. What has changed and what keeps a similar position in terms of severe rules in the context of the boarding school environment, religion, physical and platonic love? What roles do the family and the teachers play? The teacher becomes an outcast in both movies, yet her character contains a dual and ambivalent role: lover and mother-figure at the same time. Is the microcosm of a boarding school representative for the developments registered in lesbian lives over the past decades and if so, at which extent? Does the movie as a medium reflect the shift in an appropriate manner?

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