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Rapunzel Let Down Your Hair

An imaginative, experimental and playful look at myth, storytelling and female identity.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1978 75 mins Not rated

Director: Susan Shapiro, Esther Ronay and Francine Winham



A private detective (Fairport Convention musician Dave Swarbrick) investigates the case of a young woman held captive by her drug-addict mother. This is just one of many witty, imaginative reframings of the Brothers Grimm fairytale in this beguiling feminist film. The wildly diverse episodes show how the story's characterisation and political morality pervade graphics, adverts, films and TV. This rarely-seen film is unavailable on DVD.

According to Time Out, 'the super-seductive animation of dream and symbolism; the opportunist male voyeur as film noir detective; a raunchy cartoon Venus, her roots firmly in witchcraft; the family melodrama of menopausal angst; and finally Rapunzel's own tale, a live-action narrative which completes the film's substructure of the stages of womanhood, and leads firmly out of an urban desert to a finale of feminist celebration. Fairytales were always appealing, but they never made quite so much sense.'