Rita and Sue are two school going girls who are living the life dictated to them by time and place. Both are from working class families, live in council house’s and have lives that are dysfunctional and dislocated. They also do the odd shift babysitting for the middle class people nearby to them. One of these families has bob as the head of the household. He is a man who is living in a world that he hates and a life that he didn’t want. He has money, yes. He also has the trappings of a three bed house and garage set, nice Rover car and a manicured lawn. When Bob drives Rita and Sue home, he casually offers them ‘a jump’. Both agree. They have little else to amuse themselves with do they and so they take him up on it. In his Rover. On the moors. So beginnings the threes adventure.
Bradford of Andrea Dunbar is a bleak and troubled place. It is also a place where people try to find a life that can give them something better. More whole that the parts that surround them. Here director Alan Clarke gets that. He gets the inevitability of finding that thing to make life better. He gets that longing. He gets also how blackly comic that is. The search often frustrates and denies. We often have to wait and never receive or get an excess. It often confuses and contorts life. You have ups and downs. Here captured with brutal honesty and some level of almost flippant truth. It works so well as a film because it gets the subject in this very way. Placing the camera into events and avoiding harsh or excess style and instead focusing on the world and its players. A very good thing indeed.
The BFI have already overseen so great British film releases and this is no exception. The print looks great and sounds just as good. The extras on the DVD are interviews and a feature length documentary. All very good and add rounding to the piece. For me though it was the wonderful booklet that is so much worth a rave. Great work on this and I hope that if you buy it, then take the time to read it…you will not be disappointed.
New feature-length documentary on the film with newly filmed interviews with the cast and crew
Fully illustrated booklet with new writing essays and full film credits