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Summary: Roland Rat, Margaret Thatcher; Rubik's Cubes, the Royal Wedding; aerobics, skinheads... It's 1983, and the schools are breaking up for summer. Shaun is 12 and a bit of a loner, growing up with his mum in a grim coastal town, his dad killed fighting in the Falklands War. On his way home from school where he's been tormented all day for wearing flares, he runs into a group of skinheads, who against expectations turn out to be friendly and take him under their wing... (imdb)
This is England is a film you could easily skip this year, but it compiles so many familiar elements and represents them in a refreshing light that it's hard to ignore it if you are bored one afternoon. While the film does deal with a group of skinheads, a preachy political message, and a coming of age story, it makes all these things honest and believable. The good guys you are attracted to, and the "bad guys" aren't caricatures but deeply complex individuals with inner conflict. It's the so
Impressionable Shaun finds friends in the form of a gang of skinheads, who provide a motley and surprisingly compassionate contrast to the selfish, Thatcherist values of the time. Meadows's true intent, however, seems to be to show us that it's so easy to be sucked into attractive yet morally repugnant ideologies when we are at our nadirs, that [...] Cont'd: http://pwnt.co.uk/uploads/files/1/this-is-england.txt
Throughout, a chilling look at extremist nationalism, this dark character study really delves deep into the core of the corruption of mind through pride, fear, sadness, neglect, and anger. With its gritty direction and cast of fully realized characters, 'This is England' will most certainly leave its mark on your mind. P.S: Turgoose has the most innocent doe eyes ever; it's crushing.
A painfully realistic account of a young boys search for identity in 1980's England. Turgoose and Graham may well be playing themselves, so believable are their characters. Meadows accurately creates that period's sense of tension - of things about to kick off. A great film.