Contemplating that the premise of Rocks relies on the all-familiar coming of age story, it’s stunning simply how joyfully surprising its story feels. Set in and round Hackney, east London, the movie centres on the story of 15-year-old Shola, aka Rocks, and her tight-knit group of faculty associates. When Rocks’ depression-prone mom abandons her and her little brother and social staff start displaying up at their door, nonetheless, it swiftly turns right into a story about resilience and the ability of girlhood.
With its naturalistic dialogue, London-infused soundtrack and snapshots of telephone footage that intersperse the remainder of the motion, at instances Rocks feels extra like watching documentary than drama. This delicate stability is cemented by the on-screen chemistry between the real-life schoolgirls who play the group of associates, most of whom are making their display debuts. Rigorously chosen out of greater than 1,300 ladies, the characters additionally brilliantly symbolize the melting pot of London life – from British-Somalian Kosar Ali, who performs Rocks’ finest pal Sumaya, to Anastasia Dymitrow as Sabina, who’s of Polish Romani heritage.
Whereas the entire manufacturing was a vastly collaborative course of, with each established movie and TV author Claire Wilson and director Sarah Gavron on board, the preliminary seed for Rocks was planted by playwright and screenwriter Theresa Ikoko. After finding out psychology and criminology, the Hackney-born author began out working in numerous prisons and youth neighborhood teams, however throughout a programme that organised drama workshops in London prisons she started to be aware of the ability of storytelling to shine a light-weight on completely different communities, and determined to take up writing herself.
“I used to be nonetheless very a lot taking a look at artwork in the best way that it fell in step with my first ardour, which is legal justice and neighborhood efficacy,” Ikoko explains. She swiftly turned concerned within the Black-led Talawa Theatre Firm and made waves along with her 2015 play Ladies, which centered on the Boko Haram schoolgirl kidnappings in Nigeria, and earned her the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright in 2016.
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