Archive of films Bullet Boy / Bullet Boy

United Kingdom
2004, 89 min

Section: Focus on British Film (2000-2005)
Year: 2006

A strong talented cast headed by Ashley Walters and authentic dialogues characterise this tragic drama about machismo, weapons and the experiences of poor “black” London.


Documentary-maker Saul Dibb and his co-scriptwriter Catherine R. Johnson, a former writer-in-residence at London’s Holloway Women’s Prison, bring an authentic edge to gritty drama Bullet Boy. Ashley Walters, who in real life served seven months at an offenders’ institute for gun possession, plays Ricky, 19, who is determined not to fall back into destructive patterns having returned fresh from custody to his home in east London’s Hackney. But when his best friend Wisdom hands him a gun and draws him into a conflict with some local youths, a break with the past looks an ever more dim prospect. His long-suffering mum despairs for his future, and is determined that her impressionable 12-year-old son Curtis (non-professional actor Luke Fraser) follow a different path to Ricky. Strong performances and authentic dialogue elevate this tragedy-tinged drama about machismo, gun crime and the impoverished black London experience.

About the director

Saul Dibb (b. 1968, London) followed in the footsteps of his father, TV documentary filmmaker Mike Dibb, carving out his own reputation with factual films tackling gritty, controversial subjects: shoplifters (Lifters), life on the streets of inner-city London (Electric Avenue), a porn actress and her manager-partner (Easy Money), and a notorious British Islamic fundamentalist (Tottenham Ayatollah). Dibb followed Bullet Boy, his debut feature, with the three-part TV series The Line of Beauty, adapted from Alan Hollinghurst’s Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name, in which the worlds of gay hedonism and the Conservative establishment collide in Thatcher-era west London.


British Council
10 Spring Gardens, SW1A 2BN, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 389 3067
Fax: +44 207 389 3175

Portman Film and Television
21-25 St. Anne's Court, W1F 0BJ, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 494 8024
Fax: +44 207 494 2046

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Focus on British Film (2000-2005)
Director: Saul Dibb
Screenplay: Saul Dibb, Catherine R. Johnson
Dir. of Photography: Marcel Zyskind
Music: Robert Del Naja, Neil Davidge
Editor: Masahiro Hirakubo, John Mister
Producer: Marc Boothe, Ruth Caleb
Production: Shine Entertainment Ltd.
Cast: Ashley Walters, Luke Fraser, Leon Black, Claire Perkins, Curtis Walker
Contact: British Council, Portman Film and Television


Geraldine Higgins

Ruth Caleb



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