London,1962. Two teenage girls – Ginger and Rosa – are inseparable. They skip school together, talk about love, religion and politics and dream of lives bigger than their mothers’ domesticity. But the growing threat of nuclear war casts a shadow over their lives. Ginger is drawn to poetry and protest, while Rosa shows Ginger how to smoke cigarettes, kiss boys and pray. Both rebel against their mothers: Rosa’s single mum, Anoushka, and Ginger’s frustrated painter mother, Natalie. Meanwhile, Ginger’s pacifist father, Roland seems a romantic, bohemian figure to the girls. He encourages Ginger’s ‘Ban-the-Bomb’ activism, while Rosa starts to take a very different interest in him. As Ginger’s parents fight and fall apart, Ginger finds emotional sanctuary with a gay couple, both named Mark, and their American friend, the poet Bella. Finally, as the Cuban Missile Crisis escalates – and it seems the world itself may come to an end – the lifelong friendship of the two girls is shattered. Ginger clutches at one hope; if she can help save the world from extinction, perhaps she too will survive this moment of personal devastation.
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