The omnitalented Ben Drew (aka Plan B) adds directing and screenwriting to his CV with a searing debut set in the crime-ridden streets where he grew up. As insightful as Kidulthood, as brutal as Harry Brown and as intrinsically moral as one of Aesop’s Fables, this East End thrillride is the real deal.
One of the most expensive films about an Arabian subject matter ever funded by an Arab, there’s no doubt that Black Gold is a labour of love from producer Tarak Ben Ammar. Adapted from Hans Reusch’s 1957 novel South of the Heart and uniting a strong international cast, the film strives for epic, but instead comes off as kitsch – a fine mixture of ingredients, disappointingly over baked in the fiery desert sun.
With his potentially disastrous “terrorist-comedy” Four Lions Chris Morris has managed to create a rare and beautiful thing – a film that, in my opinion, could not be improved. An unflinching attack on stupidity itself, his mastery of both comedy and tragedy is breathtaking to behold. Quite simply, a must-see.
Films set in UK inner cities, addressing teenage gang violence, have grown in number over the past 5 years. The surge of these films surrounding youths involved in drugs, guns, knives and everything in between is rising. The actual purpose of films like these remains unclear, are they there to shock us? Are they made to try and deter young people from choosing certain paths in life? Or are they there to simply emulate society and highlight what’s going on?