I was expecting a pleasant relaxing summery film full of flowers and Laura Ashley dresses. Instead here’s a part documentary, part acted and lip synched account of life on a tough council estate in Bradford, England, centred on a young playwright (who found fame with the 80s film Rita, Sue and Bob Too in particular) and 4 generations of her family. It’s engrossing, uncomfortable and thought-provoking. It may make very interesting play with layers of illusion and reality- acting, plays, films, TV, news reports- but it’s about as truthful an account of the lives of the underclass in Britain over the past few decades as we’ve had. Lessons should be extended to systematic policy failures over drugs, alcohol, social deprivation, racism, violence, prisons, funding of social care, and a range of attitudes including on gender. But i doubt for the most part they will be- for although the film makes a very good job of presenting the main characters involved in a sympathetic way which reduces viewer judgmentalism, there are still the usual convenient scapegoats for tragedy- faceless social workers. And so the principle causes of the unfolding problems are easily missed.