Starring: Aaron Rochford, Brian Hook, Danny Stewart, Mark Gera
Director: Mark Ashmore
THE SHAKY CAMERA follows hooded figures heading for a war memorial. The scene is black and white; we cannot see their faces. Stalking closer and closer until, finally, the man with almond eyes and strong jawline crouches. He lays down a small wreath.
Broken Britain, also known as ‘Big Boys Don’t Send Postcards’ is about challenging the often shallow preconceptions of those who are serving in the Forces and moreover, tackling the prejudice and unjustified discrimination that many face on their return.
Set on a night out in a local, the boys Lewis, Sick Boy, Tommo and Terry are up for a night on the town – to pay respects to the woman who didn’t make it home. Unfortunately, new club management have a different idea and have banned soldiers from their premises. Far-fetched?
Or actually – based on reality?
HEADLINES (via yourstate.co.uk):
The film feels like it should be bigger. There is a deeper back story here that must thread through all the snippets of tension which lead to the brawl. Broken Brtiain is a short film, and it is a social film, and in this sense, it is jarring – perhaps this is the point.
To be fair, the handheld camerawork and unforgiving bursts of sound are cohesive with the kitchen-sink style that the dialogue adapts to. Gemma Windle who plays Amy, the Army wife of Lewis, is very believable in her role as a working class woman with trouble brooding within. This is only a small credit to how well-cast the film is.
Ashmore’s Broken Britain has been out for a year, but with over 100 days of a coalition government in this year that saw one of the bloodiest months for the UK in Afghanistan – which was June – the film is a stark reminder of how the years have added up and yet deployed troop numbers remain high.
There are still approximately 10,000 counter-insurgency troops in Afghanistan today.
With current UK Prime Minister David Cameron claiming that he wants to see troops out “in five years” whilst at the same time saying he did not want to “deal in too strict timetables”, the US indecisive as to whether it should withdraw troops by next summer yet already beginning a large-scale withdrawal of troops “above target” in Iraq, could Broken Britain be a glimpse into the further disrespect of British veterans fighting in the wars of old governments?
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This article is part one of a three-part series of features about Manchester Indie Film.