Using CCTV footage of the actual riots that bedevilled parts of England in the summer of 2011, allegedly triggered by the shooting of unarmed Mark Duggan, the film omits any real motives ... See full summary »
a precise, gently crafted, and effortlessly moving gem
I saw This Little Life at the Telluride Film Festival in its US premiere and felt, as I'm certain the rest of the audience did, that I was fortunate to be among the first to witness a gifted filmmaker's first feature. Gavron's restrained and classic approach to the story kept it far from the hamfisted pitfalls that many other directors may not have been able to avoid. Moments in the characters' lives that become too intimate to share with others are relegated to the audience's imagination; Gavron shuts doors and closes windows, allowing us to reflect unconsciously on the unspeakable instead of unnecessarily attempting to depict what is universally understood. I cannot imagine more difficult subject matter to tackle in a film nor can I imagine it handled with more sensitivity--the director caresses her audience with the same warmth and nurturing ability as that of a mother with her newborn child. The performances echo Gavron's soft, elegant touch and are, across the board, extraordinary and profoundly understated. Making people cry is a learned cinema trickery, but truly moving them is a gift. This one will stay with me for a very long time and I hope that it is released in the states so I can share it with others. Kudos to all who helped bring this beautiful film together.
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