Writer-director Sally El Hosaini makes an assured debut with this sensitively handled coming-of-age story, shot on location in Hackney during the riots, which transformed areas of the capital into a flame-scorched battlezone.
Fady Elsayed plays wayward teenager Mo, who idolises his older brother Rashid (James Floyd) and seems destined to stumble down the same path of low-level criminality.
A shocking discovery drives a wedge between the siblings, igniting a powder keg of raw emotion that drives El Hosaini’s film to its grim if somewhat predictable resolution.
The intelligent script complements committed performances from the leads, while David Raedecker’s cinematography captures both the beauty and squalor of London’s concrete jungle of crime-riddled streets and rundown housing estates.
Released: November 9 (UK, selected cinemas), 111 mins