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This Is England tells the story of Shaun (Thomas Turgoose), an 11 year old kid growing up in the North of England. Set during the summer holidays of 1983, it follows his journey from a shaggy haired ruffian grieving the loss of his father into a shaven headed thug whose anger and pain are embraced by the local skinhead fraternity.
Largely based on Meadows' own personal experience, This Is England not only captures a specific point in British history, but also beautifully articulates the allure of being part of a gang. Brilliantly charting a course from the joyous early passages to darker territory, Meadows also skilfully and with great sensitivity deals with the complexities of rage, race and masculinity.
Featuring astounding performances from Stephen Graham (Gangs of New York) and newcomer Thomas Turgoose, This Is England is a riveting and deeply moving portrait of an often-overlooked moment in cultural history and is arguably Meadows' masterpiece.