Friday, March 05, 2010

Random DVD Round-Up 3 - SHIFTY

SHIFTY is the impressive debut feature from British writer-director, Eran Creevey. It portrays 24 hours in the life of a second generation Pakistani boy nick-named Shifty (Riz Ahmed, THE ROAD TO GUANTANEMO), who has evolved from being a good schoolkid selling a bit of weed on the side into a hard core crack dealer. Shifty is on the edge of a knife - his elder brother Rez (Nitin Ganatra, EASTENDERS) and his best mate Chris (Daniel Mays, ATONEMENT), recently returned from Manchester, are trying to pull Shifty back from a life of crime. But Shifty is being set-up by his dealer Glen (Jason Flemyng).

The movie was shot for under £100,000 in just 18 days and captures the grim reality of suburban drug use in sludge colours and lower middle-class homes. This isn't London as Compton wannabe KIDULTHOOD style. Rather, you see drug use messing with real families. The movie is emotionally tense and builds suspense toward a dramatic conclusion. It feels authentic and while it makes some perceptive points about the cultural ironies of a being a second-gen Muslim immigrant, it wears its social critique lightly. SHIFTY is just superb guerilla film-making.

SHIFTY played London 2008 and opened in the UK in April 2009. It is available on DVD and on iTunes.

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