Thursday, 7 October 2010

This is England

Shane Meadows, This is England. This is a briliiant film covering England in Thatchers early 80's through the eyes of a group of Skinhead friends. The skins were second wave, relating the history of their roots from the original, spirit of 69' Trojan Skins era, to the next generation. Back in 1969 the original Skins grew out of working class culture fashion with a mix of the Jamaican rude boys and Mods having Ska and Reggae as the sub culture's music. The music reflecting the mixed races dealing with their shared working class oppression in the UK. The second wave found the sub culture infiltrated by the National Front, who hijacked the skinhead and the national flag to turn the working class sub culture into a white supremacy fascist public profile. The film, however, did not dwell on just the politics of that era, touching on Thatcher and the Falklands war while staying firmly following the lives of the group of friends and how life in that era treated them and how they treated life, consequently.

Then this year Shane Meadows presented us with a mini series of This is England. Set with the friends a few years on, into 1986. Still showing their Skinhead culture roots with Reggae music and including the mod links with songs from the Jam. The mini series dived deeper into the individual characters and we had an explosive, moving, sad and funny view of life, almost in their skins (excuse the pun). The series reminded me very much of another mini series, the Boys from the Blackstuff.

Boys from the Blackstuff received many accolades which have never been repeated for a British produced series. A strong, moving and funny account of having to deal with unemployment in Thatcher Britain, the Blackstuff is part of the 80's. Now we have another mini series with the same power and soul. Will we be treated to more?

Yes please Shane. Bring back the Skins!!

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