This Is England captures the anger of impoverished youth, who, without money or jobs or hope, seek to blame anybody else for their troubles.
This Is England is a semi-autobiographical 2006 British drama film written and directed by Shane Meadows.
This coming-of-age story centres on young skinheads in England in 1983, and stars Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham and Jack O’Connell.
Twelve-year-old Shaun is a lonely boy growing up in a northern England town. Shaun has lost his father, who died fighting in the Falklands War.
School is over for the summer, and in his free time he befriends a group of local skinheads. Shaun finds an outlet for his pent-up anger and frustration in the gangs sense of mischief, mayhem and brotherhood.
Through the gang he meets the volatile white nationalist Combo, an older skinhead who sees something of himself in Shaun. Adopting Shaun as his protege, Combo leads the gang down a hate spewing path that culminates in irreversible acts of violence.
This Is England is one of the simplest and best cinematic re-creations of downscale urban England during the gritty post-punk years.
The film is both upsetting and very funny.
Through these characters we get to see how West Indies culture, especially ska, soul, and reggae music, became adopted by white nationalists, leading to divisions within the skinhead scene.
Thomas Turgoose had never acted before, having been banned from school plays for bad behaviour. He actually demanded £5 to turn up for the film’s auditions.
The film was highly acclaimed, and went on the win numerous awards, including the Most Promising Newcomer award for Turgoose at the 2006 British Independent Film Awards.
Watch the official trailer for This Is England HERE: