Eleven-year-old David Wiseman is mad about cricket but no good at it. He has the entire kit but none of the skill, and he's a laughingstock at school. So when a Jamaican family moves in ...
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Eleven-year-old David Wiseman is mad about cricket but no good at it. He has the entire kit but none of the skill, and he's a laughingstock at school. So when a Jamaican family moves in next door and builds a cricket net in the back garden, David is in seventh heaven. But this is 1960s Britain, and when the neighbours start to make life difficult for the new arrivals, David's family is caught in the middle, and he has to choose between fitting in and standing up for the new friends who have turned his world upside-down. Written by
This is one of the best films about the immigrant experience in the UK that I've seen in a while.
It starts off appearing to be about a very English-looking German Jewish boy who's family are ultra-assimilationist and who wants nothing more than to succeed at the most English of sports, Cricket.
As it unfolds it takes in the experiences of some of the first West Indians to come to England, and are much more talented at cricket but doomed to suffer the depradations of little Englanders by virtue of their high melanin levels.
The complex racial issues that ensue are handled in a way that's sensitive and believable, as long as you can believe that the young jewish boy really is jewish, and not the scion of some old anglo-Norman family. The period detail is pretty spot on as well, though the use of colourised pathe footage slightly jars with the overall aesthetic of the film.
Mercifully, you don't have to be able to understand cricket to get this film, just appreciate how difficult it can be to live in a strange country
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