6.0/10
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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

The film's characters Chris and Caz are operating a pirate radio station from a tower block in Dalston. Dalston is a real-life district of the London Borough of Hackney, located at a distance of 4 miles (6.4 km) to the north-east of Charing Cross. Dalston was a hub for the 1970s and 1980s pub rock venues, but most of them were demolished after the gentrification of the area in the 1990s and 2000s. See more »

Connections

Featured in Queerama (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Running Away
Performed by Roy Ayers
Licensed Courtesy of Casablanca Records Inc/Polygram Records Inc (New York)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good film! Especially when its intentions are understood
19 April 2006 | by rase_97See all my reviews

I am currently writing a paper on this film and another for one of my film classes, Topics in National Cinemas, as it was one of the films we examined. While perusing this page for certain information I needed i happened to read the previous comment that someone had posted regarding what they thought of the film.

While reading this individual's comments it occurred to me that they COMPLETELY misunderstood the film and what it set out to challenge and address. This film is NOT a murder mystery. Yes, a murder occurs and sets off the story, but it is no more essential to the plot than is the youth in a coma in La Haine (Kassovitz, 1995). Like La Haine, this film sets out to address social issues pertaining to race, class, positioning in the political landscape, and, unlike La Haine, sexuality (which seemed to greatly disturb the previous individual who posted).

Young Soul Rebels examines the social landscape of late 1970s Britain, and particularly how it affects youths within the greatly marginalized "Black" culture. It confronts issues of diaspora, through the juxtaposition of different aspects of the "Black" culture, as in the rastas working at the garage, compared with the two, funk obsessed (and much more "Afro-English") main characters. It also looks at the intersection at which certain sub-cultural borders collide, as in the Punks, the Funks, and the Reggaes, as well as Hetero and Homosexuality. Ultimately this notion of collision is key to understanding this film for what it is, which is precisely identities in collision. If the previous individual who posted had understood this, then they would have also seen how the murderer's motives implied this idea of identity collision, were driven by it and pertained more to it than to reading the film as a simple "whodunnit." In this light, you'll also find that music drives the film, both as a signifier for identities, and as an expression of them. Music is certainly an essential component to this film.

For more information regarding the issues this film juggles, and for a greater understanding of its concepts and meanings, look at the writings of Paul Gilroy, particularly his book "Ain't No Black in the Union Jack," and the film's director, Isaac Julien.


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