Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Billy Elliot [Film]
[Universal, 2000] Durham, England is the setting for this wonderful and under seen film about a British young man's self-realization that he wants to dance rather than box. Billy's father is a coal miner engaged in a long, bitter strike. Billy stumbles into a ballet class on his way to the boxing gym. He discovers the exhilaration and freedom of the dance. It takes him away from his difficult existence in a declining town. His father is angry at his son's interest in a "girl's" activity. In the end his father scabs so that his son can get an audition in London. Only a person with true support for and experience with unions can appreciate what a sacrifice his father makes. Few American kids will get it. If you are that union-experienced father, you will. Many people will underestimate its meaning. The film offers a glimpse of life in declining part of Europe. The poor quality housing, the dinginess of the sky and streets, and the sense of personal decay and entrapment are vivid.
Posted by Dr. Paul Meartz at 1:54 PM