This Dogme 95 movie slipped under my radar and turns out to be a terrific melodrama about racism and migration in contemporary Britain. The story is told from three perspectives and while this is a useful device in the creation of suspense, I’m not sure it adds anything to the narrative. As a realist film, in its adherence to Dogme 95’s dogma and its focus on a social problem, it might be expected that presenting the events from three characters’ experiences might make a point about subjectivity and reality. However…
Any anti-racist message is to be welcomed even if we have to suffer some clunky dialogue. Pauline McLynn is particularly good as the ‘good mother’ and there are some beautiful shots of the sun and the sea (it’s shot in Margate and Ramsgate). These aren’t gratuitous as they emphasis Britain as an island nation that makes migration a more potent issue then it might be in landlocked nations.
I’ve decided to institute the Lacey test; does a film feature two named men who talk to one another about something other than women?
Bechdel test: Pass (13/6)
Protagonist: Female (5/10)
Lacey test: Pass (0/1)