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United Kingdom 1997
Directed by
Gary Oldham
128 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

Nil By Mouth

Ray Winstone's soliliquy towards the end of the film is, I believe, based on director Gary Oldham's recollection of visiting his own father, to whose memory this film is dedicated.

What else is based on personal experience I cannot say, but the brutishly ignorant environment of lumpenproletariat South London and the generational cycle of abuse and alienation is portrayed with graphic realism and a kind of sympathetic revulsion. It is not escapist cinema by any means and thus hard to believe that Luc Besson was one of the producers (Oldham had played the bad guy in Besson's 1994 film Leon The Professional).

If you like this film, then make sure that you see Ken Loach's My Name is Joe, released in the same year and dealing with similar social conditions, this time in Glasgow, albeit somewhat romanticised in comparison.




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