1980s, carnivalesque, coming-of-age, England, Falklands, film review, Joseph Gilgun, London riots, multiculturalism, oxymoron, post-colonialism, punk, Rosamund Hanson, Shane Meadows, Skinhead, Stephen Graham, Thatcher, This Is England, Thomas Turgoose, war, William Blake
Warning: This post includes a short, direct quote from the film that contains language which some may find offensive. The intention is not to be vulgar but to prove a point.
I distinctly remember learning about the word ‘oxymoron’ at school; a term which I had relished dropping in en passant in my literary criticism…and which I will forever associate with the compound adjective ‘bittersweet’ that had exemplified its meaning, one bleak and cold morning in a bleak and cold classroom. This memory surfaced to my consciousness as I sat watching This Is England (2006), primarily because this film’s coming-of-age narrative set in the rather bleak times of post-colonialist, Thatcherite England exudes a strong element of bittersweetness that is both eloquently and bluntly projected in the film.