When her father enlists to fight for the British in WWI, young Sara Crewe goes to New York to attend the same boarding school her late mother attended. She soon clashes with the severe headmistress, Miss Minchin, who attempts to stifle Sara's creativity and sense of self-worth. Sara's belief that "every girl's a princess" is tested to the limit, however, when word comes that her father was killed in action and his estate has been seized by the British government. Written by
James Meek <firstname.lastname@example.org>
THis is a wonderful children's film full of fascinating adult tensions. The reactionary assumptions of the source material remain - the upper class are jolly nice and paternalistic; the bourgeoisie (represented by Eleanor Bron) are grasping, slave-owning monsters; India is not a massive subcontinent rife with internal and anti-colonial divisions, but a bright fantasy world of escape from reality - but the film is full of darkness unusual for such a film: apartheid, child abuse, poverty, the disruptive, harrowing effects of war, the absence of parents. In this way, the film's style, veering between fantasy and expressionistic 'realism' is impressive. The social order may be restored, but the film is full of heartening little revolutions: its ultimate message is, look HARDER.
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