This Is England (2006)

Run with the crowd, stand alone, you decide.

Blu-ray, 1h 41min
Rating: 7.7
Votes: 117401
Languages: English
Director: Shane Meadows
Writer: Shane Meadows

Plots

A young boy becomes friends with a gang of skinheads. Friends soon become like family, and relationships will be pushed to the very limit.

This is England: Mods, New Romantics, and Skinheads are the major youth sub-cultures of this very English summer of 1983 and young 12-year-old Shaun is left wandering aimlessly alone and lost during the start of his school holidays, until his chance meeting with Woody and his fun and friendly Skinhead pack. Finding a new lease of life; girls, parties, Ben Sherman shirts, Doc Martin boots and shaven hairstyles young Shaun is welcomed, life during this summer holiday has got a whole lot better. That is until Combo arrives on the scene bitter, dangerous, racist, militant and psychotic life for young Shaun has just approached his first major crossroads. This is England is a look back at the early eighties of British working-class life through the eyes of young Shaun and his new gang, and dealing with the bitterness of outside influences such as racism and xenophobia, of mass unemployment and the fall out of the Falkland's War; Thatcher's Britain: Did we ever have it so good? When you see Shaun, ask Him. - Cinema_Fan

In Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's 1983 United Kingdom, and against the backdrop of rampant unemployment and a hot July in the port town of Grimsby, orphaned twelve-year-old schoolboy, Shaun, finds himself constantly picked on for his horrible fashion crimes. But, in the aftermath of the Falklands War, Shaun is lonelier than ever, and as if that weren't enough, after a typical day of humiliation in school, the lad has an encounter with danger in an underpass. Instead, Shaun strikes up an unexpected friendship with the cheerful and sympathetic skinhead, Woody, and his gang, and just like that, after giving him an extreme makeover, wide-eyed Shaun becomes one of the boys. Then, ferocious Combo, a dangerous National Front warrior fresh out of prison, arrives, and with him, fear, hate, and racism. But, violence always begets violence, and sometimes, tomorrow seems so far away. Is this England? - Margaret Thatcher

Roland Rat, Margaret Thatcher; Rubik's Cubes, the Royal Wedding; aerobics, skinheads... It's 1983, and the schools are breaking up for summer. Shaun is 12 and a bit of a loner, growing up with his mum in a grim coastal town, his dad killed fighting in the Falklands War. On his way home from school where he's been tormented all day for wearing flares, he runs into a group of skinheads, who against expectations turn out to be friendly and take him under their wing. Soon Shaun discovers parties, girls and snappy dressing, and finds some role models in Woody, Milky and the rest of the gang. But when an older, overtly racist skinhead returns home from prison, the easy camaraderie of the group is broken, and Shaun is drawn into much more uncomfortable territory. Based largely on his own experience as a youngster, this is Shane Meadows' most mature and fully realised film. Handling the complexities of masculinity, violence and race with sensitivity and a lightness of touch, it's hard to imagine a film that would better capture the mood of the time, or that could have any greater an understanding of the allure of being part of a gang. - Sandra Hebron

12 year old Shaun lives with his widowed mother in a small town in Britain. His father, an army officer, was one of the Falkland casualties. A loner, he is befriended by some older skinhead youth, who shave off his hair, date an older young woman, and subsequently introduce him to ex-convict Combo. Shaun unwittingly volunteers to be part of Combo's gang, and is taken to a meeting hosted by Britain's right-winged National Front, which openly advocates ethnic cleansing; re-defines Racism as Reality; and Nazism as Nationalism. Combo then takes his followers on a spree of sword and knife-wielding terror, looting a corner store run by Sandhu, all eventually get stoned and violence ensues. - rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)