London River Review

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In the aftermath of the London bombing, panicked mother Elisabeth (Blethyn), searching for her missing daughter, encounters African-Frenchman Ousmane (Kouyaté).


July 7, 2007. When news of the London bombings reaches Guernsey, Elisabeth (Brenda Blethyn) phones her daughter Jane. When Jane fails to answer, she travels to the capital, her anxiety escalating on finding Jane’s flat empty. Meanwhile, African-Frenchman Ousmane (Sotigui Kouyaté) is scouring the same area for his son. Their paths cross, but this is no meet-cute: Elisabeth is inherently suspicious.

This takes a hard look at racial prejudice and is powered by Blethyn, whose repressed hysteria contrasts with Kouyaté’s calm resignation. It’s also a hugely atmospheric, fascinating study of how the unprepared react to emergencies and a poignant watch for Londoners in particular.

An insight-filled take on prejudice in post-11/7 London that packs a hefty punch.