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.
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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
In one long shot of some houses small black Sky TV satellite dishes are visible. Sky TV did not begin broadcasting until the late 1980s, and this style of satellite dish was not rolled out until the launch of Sky Digital in the late 1990s. See more »
Return Of Django
Written by Lee 'Scratch' Perry
Performed by The Upsetters
Published by B&C Music Publishing Limited
New Town Sound
(P) 1968 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd
Licensed Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group Ltd See more »
Bitter sweet rites of passage story set to skinheads
'This is England' is a must see for the type of persons who enjoy a good old 'innocence of youth' narrative (including a very comedic, almost cringe inducing, 'first kiss' scene) layered with powerful retrospective British realism reflecting early 1980's societal issues of the type that you wont see on any saccharin dipped 'i remember 1982' clip show.
Based largely around the 'skinhead' activities of the early eighties its interesting to note that the story really draws distinctions between the types of skinheads - the nazi/racist and the two-tone/soul loving skinheads.
Much like Mr Meadows other outings which tend to include a lot of relatively unknown and TV only actors/actresses, they all throw in sterling performances, particularly Stephen 'snatch' Graham as 'Combo'(sp.?) and the unknown Thomas Turgoose as young 'Sean'(sp?).
The soundtrack is as usual strategically lined up to help convey with the overall look and feel, with musical styles ranging from reggae (toots and the maytals), punk and two tone. It does however include new music presumably for a soundtrack album sales point of view, what with the most underrated Clayhill covering The Smiths(?).
overall: its as retrospective sharp as it is thought provoking, so if you lived anywhere near this time then see it: you may just like it. I you didn't then learn from this time in history when skin heads were either very open minded or very closed minded.
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