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
At a Q&A period following this film's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, director Shane Meadows noted that the grim skinhead influenced upbringing of the 11-year-old protagonist was a true portrayal of his own childhood and many of the events depicted were drawn from his early life. 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 »
Beautiful? I was sixteen and pissed, it wasn't beautiful.
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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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