This Is England

Section: Foam of the Days
Directed by: Shane Meadows

UK, 2006

Dir.: Shane Meadows
Scr.: Shane Meadows
Phot.: Danny Cohen
Editor: Chris Wyatt
Music: Ludovico Einaudi
Cast: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley, Andrew Shim, Vicky McLure, Joe Gilgun, Rosamund Hanson
Format: 35 mm
101 mins
Contact: Works


The year is 1983. A portrait of England at the time of the Falklands War, Margaret Thatcher, aerobics, the Blockbusters TV show, racial tension, and skinheads. School is out, and long weeks of boredom loom over 12-year-old Shaun, who lives in a small harbour town with his busy mother. His father has died in the Falklands War, and Shaun reverently wears the trousers that he once gave him. It is these very trousers that draw the attention of Woody and his gang of skinheads one day, and Shaun’s summer holiday suddenly takes a wildly different course. They offer Shaun the two things he lacked until then: friendship and a manly example. He becomes the youngest member of the group and gradually gains their respect as well. In the new gang he discovers the world of parties and first kisses, but at the same time meets Combo, a skinhead who has just been released from prison. Combo’s gang takes aim at the local ethnic minority, and Shaun thus moves on from the age of innocence to the real world…

„Everyone was expecting ‘The Football Factory meets Romper Stomper.’ The violence in the film isn’t down to them being skinheads. The violence at the end is about personal torture. Ultimately, the skinhead side of the film is what I wanted it to be, which is to show skinheads as they really were and as I saw it from the inside. The Eighties was still a time when the skinheads I hung around with understood where they were from. They knew they were second wave skinheads and they knew they weren’t original 1969 skinheads but they wanted to be true to that. Everyone thought the working classes were fucked, but we were really proud of being working class and were going to create an image of something so powerful. So as a kid I was very drawn to that idea and was made to feel very proud of working class.” (Shane Meadows)

See also:
The Art of Crying Breaking the Surface
Let the Right One in Tricks
Under the Stars The Unpolished
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