Rapunzel Let Down Your Hair (1978), with response from Clarissa Jacob

Directed, produced and written by Susan Shapiro, Esther Ronay and Francine Winham

Rapunzel Let Down Your Hair is an example of feminist revisions of folk and fairy tales that emerged in the 1970s.

Rapunzel ImageThe film explores the contradictions surrounding women’s sexuality within patriarchal society. Using animated sequences, overlaid text and dramatisation it revisits the Grimms’ Fairytale in order to challenge the moral values of a tale that implicitly promotes women’s social dependency on men.

Rapunzel Let Down Your Hair carves out an alternative vision, where women can work together or alone to navigate their own destinies.

Following the film Clarissa Jacob, co-curator of the Women and Film project, will facilitate a discussion.

Clarissa is currently in her third year of her PhD research at Royal Holloway, University of  London. Her work is a re-examination of the early development of the women’s film movement  in the USA and centers on the first feminist film magazine, Women & Film, published in  California between 1972 and 1975. She recently returned from a month of filming interviews  with key activists, filmmakers and theorists of the period, including Debra Zimmerman, Chuck  Kleinhans, Julia Lesage, Sandy Flitterman-Lewis and Jeanne Cordova (successfully funded  through Kickstarter!). She has worked for the BFI’s digital team as well as producing online  educational resources for their Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film season as a participant in the  AHRC-funded Hidden Collections: From Archive to Asset in 2013. She currently teaches art and art history part-time at the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle.


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