Gretel & Hansel
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Gretel & Hansel

Gretel & Hansel the inversion of the order of the names in the title, putting the sister in front, has several possible Gretel & Hansel interpretations. Although perhaps the most appropriate thing is to read it as an attempt to adapt the classic story to the current feminist paradigm, an idea that is supported by numerous narrative justifications. To the reverse of the story, here Gretel is the oldest of her, a teenager, and the responsibility of taking care of little Hansel weighs on her. Her parents have died from the plague and the famine has devastated the village where they live. The tragedy forces them to cross the forest in search of a utopian community of loggers who, they believe, will welcome them, take care of them with pleasure and give them a trade. But you already know what they will find on the way.

The family dissolution places Gretel in the double role of assuming the representation of the maternal figure, insofar as she feels the impulse and the duty to keep alive the illusion of a home, but also the paternal instinct to watch over Hansel in a world that is perceived as a threat. The result is a strong figure like the one currently claimed by the female collective. That duality is effectively represented by actress Sophia Lillis, the young redhead from IT, from Argentine Andy Muschietti. Gretel and Hansel play with the androgynous image of Lillis to enhance the fusion and give the story a timely contemporary anchor. This intention is confirmed early when Gretel refuses both to work as a servant for a bourgeois who tries to impose “additional services” on her, such as her confinement in a convent, both alternatives imposed by her dying mother.