I completely understand why some people will struggle with this film. It doesn't appear to have a beginning middle or end, the characters are wholly unlikable and it's tragic. Unlike shaun meadows, there isnt a redemption arc in this film, but a sea of sadness. But in order to understand it one must view richard binghams photos. Richard was raised in the backdrop of thatcherism, like I was, which was a period of deep unrest for lower classes. He and his brother were raised by alcoholic parents and subjected to intense neglect. I always find it miraculous when people raised in such circumstances go on to break the shameful cycle of poverty and abuse and alter their and their own childrens fortunes. This film is searingly honest, beautiful and desperately sad. I love the way he uses gaze from pictures and jigsaws as a form of witnessing the children's more challenging circumstances. I've never seen it used this way. I also thought using benefits streets "white dee" as a stroke of genius a woman reviled for her own part in poverty, and a matriarch of an underclass community. I strongly suggest that you look at his photos first, as it will help you understand why richard continues to return to his parents and his childhood for inspiration. We often revisit the places that caused us pain in childhood as adults, as a method of healing, and I commend richard for doing this in full view of the public. It's incredibly brave.
Ray & Liz
Ray & Liz
Photographer Richard Billingham returns to the squalid council flat outside of Birmingham where he and his brother were raised, in a confrontation and reconciliation with parents Ray and Liz.
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June 29, 2019