United Kingdom. Recommended.
Let this be the occasion for me to bitch about the movie descriptions in the various SIFF guides. For a start they can be completely misleading. In this instance the blurb contains a spoiler, that mortal sin of movie guides, presumably in order to appeal to a niche audience. This one is especially egregious in that highlighting it shows that the blurbographer pretty much missed the main point of the movie. So do not read the blurb if you can manage it.
Set in youth gang culture in London its about what most guy movies are about: loyalty. This youth gang culture is not white soccer hooligan types but native Londoners of Arab and African descent. Interestingly, its not Arabs vs. Africans, but one group of Arabs and Africans vs. another similar group. The competition among gangs is incidental to the competition between gang life and straight (in the sense of, like, getting a job or a degree) life, which is the main conflict of the movie in various ways.
The lead actor bears a striking resemblance in both visage and manner (and accent) to the young Jude Law. The cast also includes the excellent Saïd Taghmaou, who played the torture guy in Three Kings, the guy with the deathless line “What is the problem with Michael Jackson?”.
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