Skin’s Star Layla Lewis in new short Film, Beverley. Story of a mixed raced girl’s struggle to carve out a sense of identity
Writer and director Alexander Thomas’s Shane Meadow-esque short film, Beverley, is an exploration of British identity in 1980s Britain. Though short, the trailer quickly sets the tone with the married sounds of ska and punk, the Rude Boy (and Girl) culture and the eponymous Beverley and her family, (her white mother and black father, and her younger brother and sister) moving into an uneasy white suburban neighborhood.
The short film is described as: ‘mixed race girl’s struggle to carve out a sense of identity in a confusing, shifting cultural landscape – 1980 Leicester. A move from the decaying, poverty-stricken, urban environment to the relative comfort and theoretical safety of white suburbia does not provide the hope and opportunities Bev may have wished for. A familiar enemy is ever present – a threat that extends beyond her own safety, as she must also protect her brother and sister. By asserting her will and using her guile Bev tries to shape her new environment into something palatable, but the result is the opposite of what she is trying to achieve.‘
Last year Amma Asante’s Belle explored similar themes. Belle was a young mixed-race woman who, because of her father, was a noblewoman and yet, because of her mother, was always placed on the periphery of her noble family. Three hundred or so years later, in Beverley we find a young mixed race woman who is similarly struggling with questions of identity (questions that relate not only to men and women with mixed heritage, but also to those whose culture intersects with another). And it’s exciting to see another film explore the way minority ethnic groups and their cultures intersected (intersects) with white English and white culture and vice versa in modern Britain, and consequently, the music and the cultures that resulted from the way these different peoples and cultures clashed and united.
Laya Lewis (of Skins fame) plays the eponymous Beverley alongside This is England’s Vicky McClure and Winston Ellis (The Dark Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean). Cass Pennant, founder of Urban Edge films, produces alongside Beverley Thompson.
For more information and to see the trailer go to www.beverleyfilm.com or follow @BeverleyFilm.
– Hannah Campbell