Powerful British drama 'County Lines' leads this week's new releases

04 Dec 2020 in New Releases

3 mins
County Lines
County Lines

Depicting how exploitation prays on young people that lack support and safeguarding within society, County Lines is an empathetic, and at times grim, look at an often hidden British reality. 

'County lines' is a term used to describe the transportation of illegal drugs, usually by young people and other vulnerable individuals groomed into organised crime. Based on the real experiences of young people heard by the film's director at a Pupil Referral Unit in East London, County Lines sees how 14-year-old Tyler finds himself transporting narcotics for a local criminal. Excluded from school and with his mother struggling to provide for him and his sister, Tyler sees very few options for his life and future.

Also out in cinemas this week

Host; A Christmas Carol

Host is an acclaimed British horror that is particularly remarkable given it was produced during the COVID-19 pandemic and filmed entirely via video conferencing technology but this doesn't stop the scares from being just as vivid in any regular horror film. A group of friends, under quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, decide to spice their online call up a bit with a séance. Haley has hired a medium, Seylan, to preside over the events, though she worries that some of her friends won't take it seriously. But when Seylan drops out of the call because of poor network quality, the friends each begin to experience strange and possibly even supernatural phenomenon within their homes.

The much-loved seasonal classic A Christmas Carol gets a radical retelling in an animated cinema release. Starring Carey Mulligan, Daniel Kaluuya and Martin Freeman, the traditional story of Scrooge, a grumpy and angry old man who hates Christmas but is whisked away by the spirits in order to save his soul, is here told through a hybrid of animation, ballet and live-action. A visually sumptuous Christmas treat.

Please check that the cinema you are intending to visit is open and visit their website for the latest guidance on social distancing and how to make your visit as safe as possible.

New on DVD this week


Filmmaker Damon Gameau, who previously investigated the effects of an unhealthy diet in That Sugar Film, turns his attention to environmental issues of the modern world in his most recent project, 2040, the opening film of the 2019 Into Film Festival.

He sets out to address concerns around transport, energy, farming, education and more, looking for existing solutions around the world aiming to set out his vision for a better tomorrow. Addressing the film to his young daughter who will be 25 by the year 2040, this is an insightful and thought-provoking piece with a hopeful message of how we can all make a positive difference to the world in both big ways and small.

Also out on DVD this week

Les Misérables; Socrates

Inspired by the 2005 Paris riots, Les Misérables is an energetic thriller which provokes discussions around citizenship, law enforcement, and the role of the police in society. The film primarily follows Stéphane, who joins the Anti-Crime Squad in Montfermeil located in the suburbs of Paris and immediately recognises that tensions are running high between law enforcement and local youth gangs on the streets, with his colleagues doing little to diffuse these hostilities. When the trio find themselves overrun during the course of an arrest and their brutal response is captured by a drone, Stéphane's loyalties are put to the test as his partners demand that he cover for them and their violent actions.

Socrates, meanwhile, is a Brazilian drama co-written, produced and acted entirely by at-risk teens with the support of UNICEF and depicts the difficult realities faced by racialised young people from low-income families, while also exploring themes of sexuality and maturation into adulthood. The film begins after a Black 15-year-old teenager suddenly loses his mother and must fend for himself on the coast of São Paulo, Brazil. Without the support of his estranged father and keen to remain undiscovered by social services, Sócrates urgently needs to find work in order to pay the rent on a run-down apartment. Without any time to grieve his loss, Sócrates quickly finds himself in dangerous situations while meeting others, that like him, are marginalised within society. 

This Article is part of: New Releases

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