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
Ironically, Stephen Graham, who plays the racist Combo, is of Jamaican descent through his father's side. See more »
When Combo was explaining the level of unemployment in the UK at the time (1983), he referred to a figure of 3½ million. Although unemployment figures in the early 1980s were staggering this figure was not reached until 1986. See more »
[Last scene. Shaun drowns his St George's Cross Flag in a pond then stares mournfully into the camera]
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Written by Richard Berry
Performed by Toots & The Maytals
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
World Wide Music
(p) 1972 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd
Licensed Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group Ltd See more »
A great British film - or should that be English?
There is no doubt that this film is a truly great piece of film-making. Shane Meadows crafts films in the same style as Martin Scorcese. We are given a glimpse into the lifestyle of a group of characters over a short period of time. It is very much a fly on the wall type of movie. The point of these films is to understand the actions of the characters rather than judging their actions. I have no doubt that there will be some people that tag this film as being racist which is rather missing the point.
The film follows Shaun a 12 year old being borough up in early 80's England. He has lost his father in the Falklands war and suffers bullying and isolation until he is befriended by a group of skinheads. The happy band are challenged when Combo is released from prison. Thomas Turgoose is magnificent in the lead role and the direction/screenplay are also spot on the mark. For anybody that lived through the period there are lots of reminders about the period. The film is based on Meadow's own childhood and is quite mesmerising at times.
I was gripped throughout the film and it also gave me plenty to think about afterwards. What more can you ask for when going to the movies? I suppose if you go to the movies for escapism then go watch something else, but if you want a gripping thought provoking drama then it doesn't come much better than this. Outstanding!
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