It’s 1983 and school is out. Over the course of the summer holiday, twelve-year-old Shaun befriends a group of local skinheads, finding exactly what he craves in their mayhem and brotherhood. The older Combo, leads the gang down a hate spewing path that culminates in an irreversible act of violence.
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This is a culture that became quite important, not just in England, not just in music. The word skinhead, today, when heard, still is associated with neonazism. This is where, in history, nationalists first took over the skinhead movement (that was a labour inclined movement), and the split happened in England. It then would spread to the US and the world. We still have both kinds of skinheads. The movie? Yeah...*
After a repeat viewing, this is as wonderful as ever. Albeit the reduction of all proud Englishmen as nationalist aggressive thugs with family issues is a bit of a forced leftist perspective, but that's getting picky. The film is wonderfully shot, skillfully directed, with great newcomer performances and a great soundtrack. A beautiful little blue-collar film, the likes of which aren't made much in the UK any more.
Unique coming of age story which, though flawed, is an interesting examination of a certain types of youth and extremist subcultures in 1980s Britain. Excellent performances, but the story is uneven - it gets off to a slow start, and loses focus in the final act, with a few too many musical montages. But an interesting little film about deep characters in an interesting time and place.
A tragic coming-of-age tale of jingoistic nationalism infiltrating British working class culture. The rise of BNP and UKIP (which echoes Enoch Powell's rhetoric) as a precursor to 80s Thatcherite Britain brought to life in this film. Meadows makes sure not to villainise the working class by association, in this nuanced analysis of England's clashing cultures of post-punk socialism, with its antithesis: neo-fascism.
Cool portraying of the skinhead culture. Well-crafted characters and top-notch performances. Yes, that means I really enjoyed "This Is England". A must-see for the "Trainspotting" & "Ratcatcher" fans.
Note [spoiler alert]: I would have killed at least one character just to make it a bit more dramatic, but that's just me.
3,5 "You won' heer a fokin' joke eh? Yeh go on den. How many peepl kan fit into a mini? I don't fokin know how many? 3 in the back,2 in the front and yer fokin dad in the ashtray. You fokka!" I love English