UNITED KINGDOM I 2019 I COLOR I 90 MIN. I ENGLISH
The product of a collaboration between director Sarah Gavron (Suffragette, Brick Lane), screenwriters Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson, casting director Lucy Pardee and a group of young, mostly non-actors, Rocks offers a raw and energetic examination of the struggle of a Nigerian-British teenage girl nicknamed Rocks (played with extraordinary power by newcomer Bukky Bakray) and her young brother in working-class inner London. While it has echoes of the kind of British social realism made by Ken Loach, the film is also a buoyant celebration of female friendships, youth and joie de vivre that delights in the girls´ improvised, fast-paced dialogue, the music they listen to, or the manifold cultural differences that seem to bind them together. Featuring an almost entirely female crew (including the DoP, editor and composer) Rocks is a tour de force, a film that handles its gritty subject matter with charm and sensitivity.
Review by: Chloë Roddick
Sarah Gavron | United Kingdom, 1970
She graduated from the University of York with an arts degree in 1992. She also did a master’s degree in film studies at the Edinburgh College of Art. Later she went to the National School of Film and Television in the United Kingdom. Gavron took classes with Stephen Frears, a director whom she considers an important influence. Her filmography highlights Brick Lane (2007), a film about a woman from Bangladesh who arrives in London in the 80s, and Sufragette (2015), in which Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep acted. She recently directed the fourth season of the series Transparent.