Rosalie - Daring to be Different

Rosalie - Daring to be Different

Written by Zoe Crombie 

As a feminist, a pet peeve that has always rubbed me the wrong way when watching period dramas is the relative hairlessness of the actresses. Smooth legs, naked armpits, and not a light moustache or unibrow in sight – not only is it ahistorical, but it speaks to our lingering distaste for natural women’s bodies, even when the alternative makes zero sense. Like it or not, body hair has become deeply political, and director Stephanie di Giusto knows just how to mobilise the transgression of choosing to reject the razor. 

Rosalie, starring Nadia Tereszkiewicz as the titular character, is a historical drama that follows the trials of a woman with facial hair who faces total societal rejection if her status as a bearded lady is revealed. Filmed on location in beautiful Brittany, di Giusto ensures that her work is gorgeous throughout, particularly any that centre Rosalie in all of her bearded majesty. We can see her for who she is, but will her fiancé Abel feel the same way?

An affecting film with subject matter that remains almost as taboo in the 21st century as it did in the 19thRosalie is a both a poignant statement on the power women have over their own bodies and a moving drama in its own right.

Rosalie runs from 9 to 11 July.

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