Mischief Night (UK, 2006)

'Black and white' conflict

I imagine this film was sold to the ‘money’ as ‘East is East for the noughties’. It attempts to offer a ‘state of the Muslim-‘white’ relationships post-9/11 as a (mostly) comedy. And overall it succeeds. Unlike East is East, where the real racial tensions of the ’70s were swept into the DVD extras, Mischief Night doesn’t minimise the antagonism between Muslim and non-Muslim, but highlights them. Neither the white underclass class nor the ‘traditional’ Muslim family (daughters being married off to Pakistani cousins) are represented postively but they are all recognisably human.

The children are particularly good, avoiding cutesy with a street-tough, foul mouthed attitude required to survive. However I’m doubtful whether the described bussing takes place that means schools in Leeds (and it is explicitly set there) are segregated actually takes places – maybe someone could enlighten me. As a dramatic device emphasising racial segregation, however, it is acceptable.

An interesting film, then, that makes a good stab at commenting upon ‘now’ in British society. It has the failings of melodrama, that it cannot offer a poltically radical take as it focuses on individuals, but is certainly more honest than East is East.

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