6.0/10
335
9 user 7 critic

Young Soul Rebels (1991)

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2:12 | Trailer
Youth culture meets identity politics in this part-thriller, part-gay love story set in London in 1977, days before the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations. The hedonistic world of pirate ... See full summary »

Director:

Isaac Julien
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Valentine Nonyela Valentine Nonyela ... Chris
Mo Sesay Mo Sesay ... Caz
Dorian Healy ... Ken
Frances Barber ... Ann
Sophie Okonedo ... Tracy
Jason Durr ... Billibud
Gary McDonald ... Davis
Debra Gillett Debra Gillett ... Jill
Eamonn Walker ... Carlton (as Eamon Walker)
James Bowers James Bowers ... Sparky
Billy Braham Billy Braham ... Kelly
Wayne Norman ... Bigsy
Danielle Scillitoe Danielle Scillitoe ... Trish
Ray Shell Ray Shell ... Jeff Kane
Nigel Harrison Nigel Harrison ... Cid Man
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Storyline

Youth culture meets identity politics in this part-thriller, part-gay love story set in London in 1977, days before the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations. The hedonistic world of pirate DJs Chris and Caz is shattered when a close friend is killed while cruising in the local park. The black community suspect the National Front, but the police pull Chris in as a suspect. This beautifully crafted period piece, a bold and stylish debut feature from Isaac Julien, paints a convincing picture of late-'70s London. The city is a carefully mapped out social landscape, open to all but offering safety to none, as we are taken to a Dalston barber, east London council estates festooned with Union Jacks, West End offices, soul clubs and city parks.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A seductive and engaging thriller from one of Britain's most innovative and provocative filmmakers

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | Germany | Spain

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 December 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La radio pirata See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,609, 24 November 1991

Gross USA:

$225,664

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$225,664
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First cinema feature of Sophie Okonedo. See more »


Soundtracks

Police & Thieves
Performed by Junior Murvin
Licensed Courtesy of Island Records Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

rebels without a clue
31 January 2003 | by buckaroobanzai50See all my reviews

I saw this film shortly after it's release, and felt quite cheated. It's title and advertising gave me the impression that it would be about the black DJ sound systems and soul scene which was at it's height in England during the late '70s and early '80s. But this only took up a fraction of film time. Instead, I had to sit through a convoluted sub-plot featuring a murder mystery which appeared all of a sudden during the movie, a very gratuitous gay sex scene, and generally bad acting and direction. There were a few moments where the protagonists had brushes with the law, and I thought at last this film was going somewhere and would depict the racism of the justice system accurately. But this was not the case, and these scenes appeared to have been either badly written, or edited. And when one character deceides to carry out his own murder investigation, I found it laughable. I understand that no film can be 100% accurate when depicting an era or events around it, and that it should be entertaining to the viewer. But at least a good attempt should be made to get the basics right. For example, hardly any of the black male actors sported an afro hairstyle or wore flares, which would have been as common as a rainy day in London during 1977. Blacks mixing with Punks? I'm no sure about that. They would have considered a lot of Punks to be similar to the skinheads which carried out a lot of racist attacks at that time. Also another sex scene featuring Sophie Okenedo and Valentine Nonyela, was not handled well at all, and was certainly not as explicit as the previous gay sex scenes which says a lot about it's director. By trying to show that homosexuality in the black british community is opposed more than in the white, I feel is absolute nonsense. Homophobia has no colour preference, and being black, it's director Isaac Julien should know better really.


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