A wonderful movie completely tainted by the fact that Duigan used his position as director and older man to coerce 16-year-old Thandie Newton into having sex with him. Half of me loved the movie. Half of me could barely watch it.
A simple yet brilliant coming of age interracial relationship drama set between a boys boarding school and a girls school. Duigan cleverly makes the story more interesting and relevant to modern times by mixing Lindsay Anderson social issue humour with Mike Leigh realism. To me it came across like the 1960s cult classic If... as it were directed by Mike Leigh instead of Lindsay Anderson. A charming yet poignant film.
This a rare film that departs from the usual coming of age film. It depicts an egalitarian and interracial teenage romance. What I enjoyed most about this film is the depiction of a teenage romance that has emotional & intellectual depth, confronts racist stereotypes by showing a sophisticated African girl who is playful, intelligent, sexually confident and not tragic. I screen this film in my course on girlhood.