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 ... See full summary »
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
A sensitive and well-made study of the impact of two waves of immigrants on London communities: the first in the form of a young family of German-born Jews driven out by Hitler, the second in the form of their new neighbours from Jamaica. Cricket is the medium which draws together young cricket-mad David and his new neighbours - especially the cricket-made father and daughter of the family. But the friendship also leads David's young mother, neglected by her workaholic, decent and God-fearing husband, to develop a crush on her more warm-hearted, more vibrant but also decent and God-fearing West Indian neighbour whose habit of spending all day in a string vest and more free-and-easy manner is something of a contrast with her husband's straightlaced attitude and permanent uniform of woolly cardigan. Both David and Ruth fall to the temptation to exploit their new friends: David uses Judy to help him improve his cricket, Ruth attempts to use Dennis for the sexual satisfaction she is missing out on as her husband works all hours to improve the family's fortunes (and send his children to expensive schools). But when Judy turns up at David's birthday party he turns her away; and when Ruth makes a pass at Dennis, she is politely but firmly repulsed. This is a lovely film that deserves to be remembered; it is very accurate of the period full of good little touches but also has a strong, positive ending in which both couples, and both families, become stronger and closer despite their diverging paths, as the enmity of the local racists draws them together in near-tragedy.
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