Archive of films This Is England / This Is England

United Kingdom
2006, 98 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2007

Even skinheads have their own history. One era – 1983 – sets the background for the summer holiday story of 12-year-old Shaun, whose encounter with a group of skinheads leads to his growing up before his time... A film by one of Britain’s most prominent directors, shown at this year’s Berlin IFF and awarded by the BIFA as best film of 2006.


The year is 1983. A portrait of England at the time of the Falklands War, Margaret Thatcher, aerobics, the Blockbusters TV show, racial tension, and skinheads. School is out, and long weeks of boredom loom over 12-year-old Shaun, who lives in a small harbour town with his busy mother. His father has died in the Falklands War, and Shaun reverently wears the trousers that he once gave him. It is these very trousers that draw the attention of Woody and his gang of skinheads one day, and Shaun’s summer holiday suddenly takes a wildly different course. At that time the skinheads only pose a different kind of subculture. They offer Shaun the two things he lacked until then: friendship and a manly example. He becomes the youngest member of the group and gradually gains their respect as well. In the new gang he discovers the world of parties and first kisses, but at the same time meets Combo, a skinhead who has just been released from prison. Combo’s gang takes aim at the local ethnic minority, and Shaun thus moves on from the age of innocence to the real world…

About the director

Shane Meadows (b. 1972, Uttoxeter) studied at the film Centre in Nottingham. For one year he made one short film each month – over weekends with a borrowed camera and friends as actors. In this way he got the preparation he needed to direct the television documentary The Gypsy Tale (1995). His next film, Small Time (1996) was the product of his own writing, directing, production, editing, and even acting. He was chosen by the BBC to direct the black-and-white TwentyFourSeven (1997, KVIFF 1998), which brought him a FIPRESCI award at Venice IFF. Rejecting offers from Hollywood, Meadows decided to finish off his own Midland trilogy. His next work, A Room for Romeo Brass (1999) became a British cult film. The final part of his trilogy, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (2002), a parody of the spaghetti western, premiered at the Cannes IFF. He continued to garner awards with the film Dead Man’s Shoes (2004, KVIFF 2005.).


The Works Film Group
5th Floor, Fairgate House, 78 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1HB, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 612 1080
Fax: +44 207 612 1081

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Another View
Director: Shane Meadows
Screenplay: Shane Meadows
Dir. of Photography: Daniel Cohen
Music: Ludovico Einaudi
Editor: Chris Wyatt
Producer: Mark Herbert
Production: Warp Films
Cast: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley, Andrew Shim, Vicky McClure, Joe Gilgun, Rosamund Hanson
Contact: The Works Film Group


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