A year on from the civil unrest that sparked in North London following the killing of Mark Duggan by the Metropolitan Police, Tarun Thind's short film "English" is an attempt to articulate the tensions, mistrust and antipathy between ages, races and generations which may have contributed to the troubles.
Taking its aesthetic lead from the seminal French film of urban alienation, "La Haine", "English" exhibits the sort of structural efficiency and story-telling that betrays an inherent understanding of the form of the cinema short. In its mere 16 minute run-time, there are some deftly managed crescendos of tension and portent, and it is framed in such a way that its resolution cannot be sensed prior to its realisation.
The film is not entirely without flaw, nor would that be expected when trying to crystallise so fraught and complex a subject, not least when Thind- having been unable to secure any sort of sponsorship or grant for a film on this topic- had to devote much of his time to funding the film himself. Most notably, the film's MacGuffin seems slightly forced in retrospect, and there are some verbalised conclusions which hint at relative inexperience.
These contentions are, however, relatively minor when considering the achievement on the whole. "English" is plainly the creation of someone with passion for his subject and natural flair for film-making. Both Thind and his central actors (Alex Nowak and Leon Wander) seem destined for further successes. The short has been selected for The Portabello Festival, Minghella Film Festival and The British Urban Film Festival, at which it is likely to be subject to a rightly warm reception.
The Duke Media UK blog is pleased to be able to host Tarun Thind's "English" in support of young film-making talent: