Archive of films The Violators / The Violators

United Kingdom
2015, 100 min

Section: Forum of Independents - Competition
Year: 2015

The protagonists of this visually commanding picture are two girls who come from different social backgrounds. Shelly, who lives alone with her brothers, and financially carefree Rachel are connected via emotional alienation. Their mutual encounter proves to be a milestone in their lives – with one emerging reborn, the other scarred.


After testifying against her abusive father, teenage Shelly and her brothers are turned over to the social services. At an age when other girls are usually dealing with boyfriend issues, Shelly has to look after a dysfunctional family living on a sink estate in a derelict part of town. The only escape from this dismal existence is her unexpected friendship with the wealthy Rachel and the equally sudden protection of the local loan shark who wants to help the troubled family out. But neither of them is offering their friendship for free and their encounters will have consequences. This visually sophisticated film documents life on the brink, from which there is little chance of escape, and explores the urban wasteland of a society in decay, where everything costs something. When her father is given early parole Shelly has to make some quick decisions and may find herself growing up before her time.

Nikola Paggio

About the director

Helen Walsh (b. 1976, Warrington, UK) left school at sixteen and went off to live in Spain where she wrote her first short stories about the characters she came across in Barcelona’s red light district. After returning to Britain she studied at Liverpool University where she was awarded a scholarship for her writing on pornography and queer theory. Her first novel, Brass, tells the story of a female sex addict; she has four successful novels to her name, including her bestselling The Lemon Grove. All of her work touches upon the complexities and ambiguities of female sexuality, and her directorial debut is no exception. She is currently working on a new film with the working title Boy.


Red Union Films
18 Hill Road, CH43 8TL, Wirral
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 151 203 5815

About the film

Color, DCP
International premiere

Section: Forum of Independents - Competition
Director: Helen Walsh
Screenplay: Helen Walsh
Dir. of Photography: Tobin Jones
Music: David A Hughes
Editor: Kyle Odgen, David A Hughes
Producer: David Moores, David A Hughes
Production: Red Union Films
Cast: Lauren McQueen, Brogan Ellis, Stephen Lord, Liam Ainsworth
Contact: Red Union Films


Helen Walsh

Film Director

David Moores



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