On the outskirts of Birmingham and the margins of society, the Billingham family performs extreme rituals and break social taboos as they muddle through a life decided by factors beyond their control. At times shocking and laced with an unsettling humour, three episodes unfold as a powerful evocation of experience of growing up in a Black Country council flat.
Ray in the twilight of his life looks at the quiet scenery outside his high-rise council flat. He becomes lost in thought. What follows this lethargic opening sequence is a jump in time, as Ray’s memories of the past come flooding back. To evoke such private experiences on the outskirts of Birmingham as poverty, hunger, alcoholism, infant negligence and deportation, Richard Billingham unfolds three episodes of his hard-drinking father. Many scenes portrayed with photographic strictness render the film curiously moving sensation. [JANG Byungwon]
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