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Like Father (2001)

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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 24 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 3 critic

A feature drama exploring the lives of a grandfather, father and son, as they come to terms with the post-closure landscape of East Durham.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ned Kelly ...
Arthur Elliot
Joe Armstrong ...
Joe Elliot
Jonathon Dent ...
Michael Elliot
Anna-Marie Gascoigne ...
Carol Elliot
Derek Walmsley ...
David Hylton
Willie Ross ...
Brian Hogg ...
Ashley Gutsell ...
Peter Dougherty ...
Jay Foulds ...
Garry Everist ...
Jackie Surtees ...
Joe Jones ...
John Reid ...
Amber Styles ...


Like Father portrays a family in crisis, focusing on the dislocations of grandfather, father and son. Pigeon man Arthur Elliott, a 70 year-old whose working life in the pit gave him a strong sense of identity and pride, is losing his allotment to the local authority's coastal redevelopment scheme. Working as a trumpet player, a teacher and a club singer, as well as running an agency for club acts, 40 year old, ex-miner, Joe Elliott can just about scrape a living out of his music, but he is losing his wife. 10 year old Michael Elliott, who is living with the pit village folklore and the wreckage of the coal industry, is left to grapple with his own realities. Each of the three generations is struggling to come to terms with the past and find the ties that bind them. The three separate, but essentially integrated worlds, unfold against the rich and extraordinary backdrop of East Durham's landscapes and locations. It is the second film in Amber's coalfield trilogy. The Scar (1997) ... Written by Amber Films

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12 September 2002 (Germany)  »

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User Reviews

Earnest companion piece to BRASSED OFF & BILLY ELLIOT
19 March 2011 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Joylessly earnest companion piece to BRASSED OFF & BILLY ELLIOT, working through three generations.

The pits have been closed for ten years and the tuba playing coal miner lead, has spent his retrenchment package. His son has won't go to band practice and dad abuses him for not keeping up. Meanwhile his own tape mended-glasses-father is being told his son's a scab for working on a not unimpressive orchestral piece for a one time neighbour,about to clear the land that the locals have been using for their pigeon coops for fifty years - canaries bred from the last ones to go down the pit.

The murky, contrasty colour alternates with desaturated flashbacks to gramps piano evenings ("What, me dad singing?") and domestic tyranny, in the days the head of the house would come home covered with coal dust.

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