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WE ARE THE LAMBETH BOYS

UK, 1959 (MIFF 1960, Programme 6)

Director: Karel Reisz

Shot in and around a youth club in Kennington, a London suburb, pitched between the dry discipline of social documentary and a toughly optimistic personal impression, We are the Lambeth Boys approaches its characters with directness and unaffected sympathy. These boys and girls speak up for themselves, communicating intensely with expressive hands, watchful eyes and the richness of their own words - from the repetitions of an interminable phone call to the imagery of an uninhibited debate on capital punishment. Otherwise, during the cricket practice, the dancing, the eating, the leave-taking late on Saturday night, it is their physical attitudes, faces and voices which most of all reflect their hopes and frustrations.

The director has throughout achieved an unselfconscious purity of style and emotional response. His record of what is being done for one small group of young Londoners, and by them, is poetic, vivid and commanding.

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