Sixteen, Rob Brown, 16 October 2013 at the ICA, London

IN WHICH… IN 100 WORDS OR LESS I REVIEW A FILM AT THE LONDON FILM FESTIVAL

Image copyright of BFI

Image

Brown’s first feature was vital, emotional, insightful and innovative. The script danced through complexity, characters fizzed and the narrative grabbed me. The depiction of a Congolese ex-child soldier in London was fascinating. Trauma and survival flashed through this inventive urban horror in interaction with lens, screen and humane normalities: corner shops, adolescence and parental anxiety. The film avoided a saccharine resolution, consequently the necessary acceptance of the endless horror of war was not undermined by the hopeful spirit.

Sixteen should win London Film Festival awards.

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