A story about a troubled boy growing up in England, set in 1983. He comes across a few skinheads on his way home from school, after a fight. They become his new best friends even like family. Based on experiences of director Shane Meadows.
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 poster on the wall (in the room in which Shaun has his hair-cut and puts on his new shirt) features six classic bands of the British Ska and 2Tone movement, and is from 1981's live vinyl album Dance Craze: The Best of British Ska...Live! The bands on the poster are Bad Manners, The Beat, The Bodysnatchers, Madness, The Selecter and The Specials. See more »
Blockbusters, the popular 80s game-show the gang are seen to be watching didn't actually debut on TV until 29 August 1983 - over a month after the events in which the film is set. See more »
I'll tell you how to get four people into a mini. Two in the back, two in the front and your Dad in the ashtray!
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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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