the prime of miss jean brodie

watched ‘the prime of miss jean brodie’ again last night, with the magnificent maggie smith. this film, made in 1969, always shocks me on account of its boldness and contemporary relevance. the characters, including the titular jean brodie, are deeply flawed, their trespasses unsettling, the emotional tenor of the film (novel by muriel spark) is ambiguous, everything painted in grey, without the comfort and predictability of black and white. in short, it’s a fearless portrayal of life with all its contradictions and unsavory realities (including the allure of fascism). i remember a teacher somewhat like that in high school, back in islamabad. it was an all girls school. i was never in her orbit but she created some commotion in our midst, before being let go.

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