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USA: Indican Pictures
UK: Artificial Eye Film Company
Cast: Molly Parker, David Wenham, Harry Eden, Gary Lewis, Keira Knightley, Geraldine McEwan, Kate Ashfield, Marsha Thomason, Karl Johnson, Nitin Chandra Ganatra, Levi Hayes, Vinnie Hunter, Bea Guard
Director: Gillies MacKinnon
USA& UK: 96 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains hard drug use and strong language
USA Release Date: 10 June 2005 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 1 April 2005 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 2 May 2003
"Only love is...pure"
With PURE, Gillies MacKinnon (whose REGENERATION was also released by Artificial Eye) makes a welcome return to the themes and styles of his earlier films, SMALL FACES and THE GRASS ARENA, with this hard-edged exploration of a ten year old boy's extraordinary struggle to save his mother from a destructive drug addiction. What makes this particular treatment so powerful is that the main story is told through the eyes of the boy, Paul - a standout performance from newcomer Harry Eden - who displays a mixture of vulnerability and innocence with a maturity beyond his tender years. We experience the harsh realities he is forced to encounter as he attempts to keep his family together at all costs.
Growing up in the shadow of West Ham's football stadium at Upton Park, London, ten year-old Paul (Harry Eden) is experienced beyond his years, having taken on the role of caretaker to mother Mel (Molly Parker) and younger brother Lee following the sudden death of his father. Paul's hunger for his mother's affection is as moving as is her inability to respond, as she seeks solace in drugs. With heroic optimism, Paul takes drastic steps to rescue his mother from addiction. The ending is left uncertain, as Mel finally hits rock bottom and miraculously is able to summon up her strength in an attempt to save herself and her family.
MacKinnon's rock steady direction is matched by Alison Hume's perfectly-scaled screenplay and features moving central performances from the film's rising star Molly Parker (KISSED) and young newcomer Harry Eden (currently filming a Hollywood remake of PETER PAN in Australia) as well as strong support from Keira Knightley (BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM), David Wenham (LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS), Geraldine McEwan (THE MAGDALENE SISTERS) and Gary Lewis (BILLY ELLIOT). PURE is a poignant story that highlights the profound love and commitment between mother and child and has already been well received in screenings at Toronto and London and is screening in the Panorama section at the Berlin Film Festival.