Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
After the death of her crane-driving husband in Germany in the 1930s, Ella must find some way to earn a living. Donning her husband's clothes, she takes up his old profession, which she learned by watching him at it. Taken for a man, she is completely enthralled by the way men behave when away from women, particularly the rough, working-class men she is impersonating. She keeps the disguise, serves as a (male) soldier during the war, and works on a farm and then a factory afterwards -- all the while as a man. She even falls in love as a man. Eventually, she retires to a tiny apartment and more or less returns to her original persona but tells her story with gusto. Derek Jarman fans will be particularly pleased to see his favorite actress Tilda Swinton in this robust and interesting role.
apartment, battle [war], crane [machine], cross-dressing, soldier, storyteller, working-class