This Is England

April 16, 2008

A thread suggested by Ana Otto! We’re pasting her text here:

Has anyone seen “This is England”? I was amazed to learn about skinheads in the 80’s. I mean, today racism, neo-nazism and all the other forms of anti-social behaviour associated with skins have become the snap-judgements most people make but it wasn’t always like that. I was also touched by the protagonist, Shaun, whose need to find someone or something to believe in leads him into violent adulthood.
Soooooooo happy to see we have great people volunteering for the new blog! Congratulations!


  1. I saw this film some months ago and I was impressive with the different point of view showed of Skin Movement, I mean there was a side being helpful and friendly with excluded people. What I really didn’t like is the ending so politically correct.

  2. Hi there! sorry for the delay. I posted the comment some days ago and had no time to review it later. This is a wonderful film with extraordinary characters and accurate atmosphere too but I agree with you, the ending was not that believable and maybe it was because of being too politically correct! I’m just preparing some stuff about the film for Y5 students and will be glad to try an open discussion so all of you are very welcome if I finally have the time to do that! Any ideas????
    Congratulations again for the blog!

  3. Hello,
    I saw this film with my students (16 years old). They told me that it is a very good movie because you can notice the difference between skinheads and nazis. Maybe that point of view can help you with your class.

    Good idea a foro about cinema!!

  4. Thanks so much for the idea, Esther! Your students must be very smart, I guess! were they very shocked by the film? It’s a hard story, I mean Shaun having to join the strange gang as the only ones acting as kind of family and all that. I loved the film and the British atmosphere of the time. Some scenes also made me think of Trainspotting, in the sense that both of them embrace the topic of misfits living in a constantly changing society…Perhaps the foro could be focused on the idea of the antihero in Contemporary Literature/ Cinema. I will tell you about it. Thanks a lot for your comments! Have a nice weekend

  5. Well, I hoped you had a good class with your students.
    It reminds me Trainspotting too. But the atmosphere and all that staff thasn´t shoked my students very much, maybe because it wasn´t so strange for them…

    I think it´s very interesting your idea about the antihero, what the surviving instinct should get with anybody who is suffering. I can´t even imagine!

    Have a good weekend, Ciao!

  6. Hi,
    I’ve seen the film as well and I really ejoyed it. It’s very interesting to see how people needs to feel the sense of belonging, young people in particular. The bad thing about it is that if your choice is not good your life can become a hell, if you know what I mean.
    I didn’t know that the skinhead movement wasn’t as violent as it is nowadays and that it had reason to be. I have learnt a lot from it and from those days during the Margaret Thatcher regime. In those situations people usually behave in an unexpected way.
    The main characters are very good but especially the performance by Turgoose (Shaun), it’s unbelievable that being so young he acts so well.
    By the way, I totally agree with you about the end and… anything about the soundtrack?

  7. Hi folks!
    Here’s some sidetalk. It’s about skin heads. Well, I’m no expert, I mean, I don’t know anything about the theory, but as an old pacifist I have to say that in my 20 years in the movement I’ve been surrounded by skin heads, mostly anarco-punks and anarca-feminists who are pacifists or who use DNVA (Direct Nonviolent Actions) to fight for social justice. I shaved my head once, too. Anyway, my idea of skins has never been like the idea people outside the pacifist movement had, it’s true, and it’s true I’ve never tried to explain that I didn’t see things like that. Perhaps because I know that most people wouldn’t listen. Because when people see someone with a shaved head, people just think that such a person is violent. The thing is that if you go to Lavapiés, you can actually see that that is not the case. But then people who never go to Lavapiés think that the area is full of violent people! And of course there are meanies, and then there are mainstream people and then, there is a high percentage of people involved in social issues. You can find there all kinds of groups and social activities. You will see people with shaved heads or all kinds of ¿shabby? looks having their little drinks and chats in outdoor hangouts — they are mostly pacifists, anarchists (many are from the nonviolent tradition like myself!), feminists, ecologists, squatters… Here we go again, squatting in Madrid has a bad reputation. It’s also seen as violent, but though there are people who are not pacifists, most people are. They squat buildings which are being wasted, and they do so to use them for needs in the neighbourhood. Oh well. 🙂

  8. PS!: What I mean is we are all victims of prejudice and that prejudice is very selective. When you see someone in a suit you never think that person is violent, and maybe that person is.

  9. It did not remind me Trainspotting at all. The rhythm is completely different comparing both films though the photography and atmosphere is very used in English films.

    Have you seen sweet sixteen?

  10. Hi everyone! I haven’t seen sweet seventeen. Tell us something, pleeeeeeease! Right now I am very prone to Brit things (It just started when I reread and revised Hi fidelity! Dakota, you are right, squatting in Madrid has the worst of reputations. I would like to prepare a session in class and devote it to the film and you all are veeeeery welcome to come and share your views if you like. Maybe Wednesday? This blog is wonderful. Thanks for being there! Be naughty.

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