Blue Jean

Impressive feature debut about a gym teacher who must anxiously keep her sexual orientation hidden in Margaret Thatcher’s England.

Time & Tickets

Tyneside, Northern England,1988. Jean is a woman living a double life: by day, she’s a physical education teacher, putting secondary school students through their paces. At night, she frequents a local lesbian bar with her friends and long-term partner. The looming Section 28 ruling – which prohibits ‘the promotion of homosexuality’ in order ‘to protect our children’ – encourages her to keep her life compartmentalised, until the arrival of a new student threatens to shake her world apart.

Earning a BAFTA 2023 nomination for Best Outstanding Debut, this astonishing debut feature from Georgia Oakley is a delicate yet gripping character study of a woman unsure of how she wants to be – or is allowed to be – perceived. Powered by a hypnotic performance from Rosy McEwen in the title role, the film feels like a precious time capsule thanks to the attention to period detail, precise music choices and beautiful, evocative 16mm photography, all the while serving as a vital reminder of the lasting ramifications of Thatcherism.

The film was selected for the Giornate degli Autori programme of the Venice Film Festival, where it was awarded the Audience Award. And it won four British Independent Film Awards, including Best Lead Actor and Best Debuting Screenwriter.

Georgia Oakley, UK, 2022, 97 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Rosy McEwen, Kerrie Hayes, Lucy Halliday, Lydia Page, Stacy Abalogun.