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THIS IS ENGLAND
USA: IFC First Take
UK: Optimum Releasing
Cast: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley, Andrew Shim, Vicky McClure, Joe Gilgun, Rosamund Hanson, Andrew Ellis, George Newton, Frank Harper, Jack O'Connell, Kieran Hardcastle, Chanel Cresswell, Sophie Ellerby, Matthew Blamires
Director: Shane Meadows
USA: 100 mins
UK: 103 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains very strong racist violence and language
USA Release Date: 25 July 2007 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 27 April 2007
THIS IS ENGLAND, is the story of a summertime school holiday, those long weeks between terms where life changing events can take place. It's 1983 and school is out. 12-year-old Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) is an isolated lad growing up in a grim coastal town, whose father has died fighting in the Falklands war. Over the course of the summer holiday he finds fresh male role models when those in the local skinhead scene take him in.
On the way home he meets Woody (Joe Gilgun), and his gang of skinheads. Contrary to their startling appearance they are friendly and fair-minded. With his new friends Shaun discovers a world of parties, first love and the joys of Dr Martin boots, which he buys on a trip with his mum Cynthia (Jo Hartley) to the local shoe shop.
Admittedly a day out with the gang means trashing the new, unoccupied, housing development, whilst dressing up in outlandish costumes, but they are welcoming and they are fun. The skinheads offer Shaun two things he has been missing, friendship and male role models.
He also meets Combo (Stephen Graham), an older, racist skinhead who has recently got out of prison. As Combo's gang harass the local ethnic minorities, the course is set for a rite of passage that will hurl Shaun from innocence to experience.