Christmas 1988. Soulmates, woody and Lol find themselves in exile from each other and the gang. Trying to understand the definition 'growing up', Shaun begins a course at College, that quickly takes the wrong turn.
The year is 1990, the rave scene has just entered England. The sound of the Stone roses lurks toward Shaun and the gang. This means that Woody and Lol are living in a domestic bliss, they are happy again. But this year will see huge changes in everyone. This is the year 1990. This is England.
Lyra Mae Thomas,
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In a typical English working-class town, the juveniles have nothing more to do than hang around in gangs. One day, Alan Darcy, a highly motivated man with the same kind of youth experience,... See full summary »
This is England: Mods, New Romantics, and Skinheads are the major youth sub-cultures of this very English summer of 1983 and young 12-year-old Shaun is left wandering aimlessly alone and lost during the start of his school holidays, until his chance meeting with Woody and his fun and friendly Skinhead pack. Finding a new lease of life; girls, parties, Ben Sherman shirts, Doc Martin boots and shaven hairstyles young Shaun is welcomed, life during this summer holiday has got a whole lot better. That is until Combo arrives on the scene bitter, dangerous, racist, militant and psychotic life for young Shaun has just approached his first major crossroads. This is England is a look back at the early eighties of British working-class life through the eyes of young Shaun and his new gang, and dealing with the bitterness of outside influences such as racism and xenophobia, of mass unemployment and the fall out of the Falkland's War; Thatcher's Britain: Did we ever have it so good? When you see ... Written by
The takeaway that Shaun passes, early on in the film, has a telephone number starting with area code 0115 - this area code did not come into effect until the early 1990's, 10 years after the film is set. See more »
[Walking with Shaun, Gadget, Meggy and Banjo, noticing three Indian boys playing football in a corner]
Look at these little fuckin' sewer rats, look. Fuckin' vermin. Boys!
[the boys group together, but Meggy snatches the ball from them]
Now that's OUR ball now, right? And WE'RE playin' 'ere, so I suggest you take fuckin' Tweedledum and Tweedledee and fuck off home. If I see you in my streets again...
[He brandishes a penknife and brings it to the boy's cheek. Shaun smiles stupidly]
...I'll slash ...
[...] See more »
The skinhead culture fascinates many directors and it's understandable. It's one of the few remaining subcultures in the West, much because of the Nazi connections.
But the skins in this movie aren't political and no racists to start with. One of the gang members is even black. They live in a happy community in the early 80s, having fun and being together in a totally grey unfriendly working class environment. It's very hopeful and the 12-year-old finds himself accepted for the first time in his life. His longing for the dead father of the Falklands war is somewhat replaced.
But darkness arrives with the skin veteran who comes back from jail. And there are conflicts between the racist fraction and the others. But whatever this is, it's not black and white. The characters are much more complicated.
Much has been said about young Thomas Turgoose as the 12-year-old. He's very good but the great portrait is by Stephen Graham as the old/new gang leader. Absolutely brilliant work.
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