Flash Movie Review: This is England

TOMBSTONES fall down due to hateful thoughts these days. Houses of worship get tagged with symbols of hate. Videos are posted online to show acts of discrimination. Throughout my life I have personally experienced bigotry and discrimination. With each exposure to it I never understood how a person grew up with such hate inside of them. I am sure within our general conversations with friends and family, someone will mention they do not like someone’s laugh or hair; you know unimportant surface stuff. But when there has been no interaction of any kind and a person actively discriminates against you solely on visual information, it is mind numbing. Any form of discrimination is wrong as far as I am concerned. Before you think better of me, I want you to know there are individual people I do not care to be around. There may be something they do or the way they act that annoys me, so what? I would not hate them because of it; I would simply avoid them. If someone is eating a food like sauerkraut, which I dislike immensely, I would not think less of them or hate them for it.     HATRED is such a strong word and I am sad to see how it appears more prevalent today then years ago. Maybe it was always there inside of people, but now it seems as if it is acceptable out in the public eye. I am horrified by some of the acts of hatred I see on the news. This brings me back to my earlier statement: how do people get so much hatred inside of them? We are not born with it; it is something that is learned. If that is the case who or what is teaching us to become hateful? Well I found part of the answer in this BAFTA and film festival winning crime drama.     FROM a chance meeting 12 year old Shaun, played by Thomas Turgoose (Eden Lake, The Scouting Book for Boys), discovers a way to feel superior over others. Set in England during the early 1980s, this movie also starred Stephen Graham (Public Enemies, Gangs of New York) as Combo, Jo Hartley (Eddie the Eagle, Dead Man’s Shoes) as Cynth and Joseph Gilgun (Lockout, Harry Brown) as Woody. I found the beginning of the story slow, not sure what the focus was supposed to be. There were troubling scenes for me because they had to do with bullying. As the story progressed I became more involved with what was taking place because a new element was introduced that changed the whole tone of this film. If you are uncomfortable seeing discrimination as I am then I have to tell you I was uncomfortable watching some of the scenes. Now it did not stop me; the story in a way was a revelation. This DVD made me think and in a way, one could say this is a coming of age story which is frightening on some levels. There were powerful performances and though the story was set a few decades ago, I do not think there would be much change in the process of transforming an individual into a dark place. Maybe this movie could be used as an example for schools and organizations to show how a person learns how to hate.

 

3 ¼ stars — DVD  

 

 

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About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on March 16, 2017, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. This is one of my favourite movies. I also watched the TV series that follows the same characters though I unfortunately left the U.K. before I could see the most recent season. If you enjoyed this movie, you should also check out ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ that was also directed by Shane Meadows.

  2. Great movie. I lived in the U.K. For the first seven years of my life and distinctly remember the skin heads.

  3. I do just need to mention that earlier, in the late 70’s just because someone was a skin DID NOT mean that they were racist. In fact punks, skins and black people used to hang out in clubs together where they played a blend of punk, Northern Soul and Ska music. Unfortunately in the 80’s it was a subsection of skins which broke off and became the type of racist people you see in This is England who manipulated younger people along with them as expertly portrayed in the film. My bloke still has a skin head sometimes, wears a fitted sports shirt with braces, jeans and army boots because they are comfortable but he’s the most open minded, empathetic person ever and has attended several anti-facist rallies. We do get some odd looks every now and then though; a supposed racist skin head partnered to a supposed mixed race girl.

    • Thank you for the history lesson. I found it interesting because in my portion of the world, we only heard the negative side of “skinheads.” Don’t you find it a shame how hate stands out more than love in many scenarios?

  4. I too have always been baffled by the use of the word hate, there is so much negative emotion in it and people use it so freely. It’s also a mystery why some people become so hate filled…Is it how they are brought up combined with life experiences that turn them that way? Do they get some kind of a “high” off of being mean and hateful? Do they have people who encourage them to be that way? Is there something wrong with their mind?…so many questions.
    Thanks for your interesting blog.

    • Hello, it is a pleasure to meet you. Your pose perfect questions in general and to accompany this particular review. I only wish I had some answers; however, I feel the same as you.

      Thank you for the comments.

  5. Most funny n intresting.

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