A Way Of Life Review

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Teenage single mum Leigh-Anne (James) struggles with poverty, boredom and a building paranoia about her Turkish Muslim neighbour.


You might expect a former Grange Hill actress to come up with something reasonably street for her directorial debut, but Asante could give the Leighs and Loaches of this world a run for their money with this dark, tragicomic drama about racists on a Welsh council house estate. Culminating in a shocking incident, this is all the more effective for its characters' lack of remorse and their parochial, distorted perception of both race and reality.

Boasting strong performances and a moral ambiguity that raises pertinent questions about isolated suburban society, this is not a cheery watch, but a brave exploration of racial hatred in deprived areas.

As a first film this is bleak but brilliant stuff. Asante is definitely one to watch.