🎥🍣Movie Sushi — This Is England

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6 min readDec 10, 2022

July 1983, last day of term.

Another boy says Shaun Fields has nice flares. Shaun insults him back. In a newsagent’s, shopkeeper, Mr Sandhu, asks if Shaun’s gonna buy a magazine. Shaun protests. Sandhu says it’s not a library.

Shaun angers and Sandhu orders him out. Shaun stays. Sandhu dials the police and Shaun leaves, insulting Sandhu again. At school, someone insults Shaun’s late father. Both are sent to the headmaster.

A gang’s relaxing in an underpass. Woody asks Shaun what’s wrong. Shaun says people are picking on him. Woody asks who’s doing that. Shaun says some lad at school called Harvey. Woody says Harvey’s a girl’s name. Woody introduces himself to Shaun and they shake hands. Woody introduces Milky, Pukey, Kes and Gadget.

Gadget gets angry and tells Shaun to move from his seat. Gadget plays with Shaun’s trousers, then tells Shaun to leave and threatens him. Shaun walks off angry. Woody calls Shaun back. He feels bad, and insults Gadget.

Shaun tells his Mum, Cynthia, a boy at school made fun of his dad, so Shaun hit him. Shaun’s been picked all day because of his massive trousers. She says Shaun’s father bought him them. Shaun’s so upset, he suggests they move away.

Gadget wants to know if Shaun’s coming hunting with the group. A peace offering for the other day. Shaun’s suspicious, then says Gadget looks stupid. Gadget palms it off. Soon, Shaun agrees to come.

The gang arm themselves and run whooping into derelict houses. Dressed in blonde wigs, snorkels and dresses, they flood into these houses and destroy things. They ambush and fire things at Gadget.

Gadget puts Shaun on the floor. Woody fiercely asks why. Gadget says he’s been mistreated all day, having to carry all the bags, then everyone trying to scare him. Woody reminds Gadget Shaun’s being bullied. He’s disappointed in Gadget.

Gadget feels relegated within the group. Shaun says if Gadget wants him to go, he’ll go. Gadget says he’s thinks Shaun’s great, he’s just having a rubbish time. Both shake hands.

Shaver in hand, Woody’s girlfriend, Lol, checks that a skinhead is really what Shaun wants and that no-one will get upset. Rolling a joint, Woody, Milky and the others yell encouragement. Afterwards, Shaun’s topless and grinning.

Shaun asks if he’s now in the gang. Woody gives Shaun a Ben Sherman shirt and the two of them hug. Milky calls it a great transformation. Smell says Shaun looks cute. Gadget’s amazed by Shaun’s new look. Shaun says it’s been the best day of his life. His Mum, Cynthia’s furious when she sees Shaun’s new look.

Next day, Cynthia marches to the café with Shaun wanting answers. Lol says she checked with Shaun first, then apologises. Cynthia says they’re too old to be hanging around with Shaun. Cynthia says they should leave Shaun’s hair alone. Cynthia wanted to thank Woody for helping Shaun when he was being bullied and also for the clothes.

The group’s in Gadget’s front room lounging around. Shaun asks if Smell would like to take a turn up the garden with him. They call Shaun sweet. Smell and Shaun go into the garden where he compares her to the moonlight.

Suddenly, a skinhead with a machete storms into the house, terrorising everyone. Combo, also with shaved head, arrives and embraces Woody. Combo introduces Banjo. Combo spent three years in prison for Woody, never having incriminated him.

Combo tells a story about a big, black man constantly stealing his pudding, apologising to Milky for his angry, racist terminology. Shaun and Smell return and Woody introduces Combo as a very special friend.

One day, Combo’s starving and really looking forward to his pudding. Combo continues to litter his story with racist slurs. Milky looks downcast, as does Woody, as does Lol. Gadget and Pukey are enjoying it.

Days later, Woody’s gang are summoned to Combo’s flat. Combo says he was horrible the other day. Woody agrees Combo was out of line. Combo says Woody was a snake.

Woody let Combo abuse Milky. Nobody protested and that was wrong. Combo asks if Milky considers himself English or Jamaican. Milky says English. Combo and Banjo start clapping. Combo’s proud.

Combo mentions the three and a half million Englishmen who can’t find jobs because immigrants are taking them all. Then, the government sends the English to war in the Falklands against shepherds.

Shaun tells Combo to shut up. Combo says there’s loads of dickheads dying out there for nothing. Shaun attacks Combo, shouting that his dad wasn’t a dickhead. Combo says they shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Combo calls Shaun a gem, then presents an ultimatum. Those assembled either leave or they come with Combo. Woody’s not being brain-washed and calls Combo well out of line. Kes also stands, but Pukey won’t — saying Combo’s right.

Gadget says Combo’s put things into perspective. Milky gets to his feet. Shaun’s staying. He tells Woody he wants to make his dad proud. Milky does a handshake with Shaun and hugs him.

Combo drives his recruits to a small National Front rally at a country pub. Lenny addresses the crowd of gentlemen to frequent cheering. There’s a forgotten word that means more to Lenny than any other. That word is “England”. Once, it was a word that stood for power, freedom and respect.

Lenny wants to revive that grand, old word “Englishman”. They’ve been marginalised. They’re not cranks, racists or Nazis. They’re nationalists. Lenny says other people fear them because they’re the true voice of the people of England.

Lenny welcomes people who work hard, just not the people who think England owes them a living. Lenny says it’s time to take England back, asking if they’re ready to shed blood. There’s cheering and they all chant Lenny’s name.

In the car, Shaun unfurls an English flag. Combo’s overjoyed and says it’s going in the middle of the wall in the flat. Pukey asks Combo if he really believes in all that rubbish. Combo stops the car, leaving Pukey stranded in open countryside.

Gadget, Shaun, Combo, Banjo and Meggy spot the enemy playing football. Combo calls them vermin and Meggy takes their ball. Combo holds a knife to one’s face. He tattoos a cross on Shaun’s hand and gives him an England flag to proudly fly.

Shaun goes into Sandhu’s shop and demands a hundred cigarettes, two bottles of wine, a bottle of whisky and ten cans of lager, then racially insults him. Sandhu grabs Shaun.

Combo arrives and tells Shaun to take precisely what he wants. Meggy, Gadget and Banjo then arrive, Meggy even attempting defecating there. The others grab loads of supplies and run off laughing. Combo says the shop and everything in it now belongs to them.

The gang drives to Smell’s house for her birthday. Woody and Milky go to leave. Combo says he’s brought booze and wants to bury the hatchet. Woody’s really eager to watch a programme about aardvarks.

The majority of the others leave with Woody. Combo and Shaun say Alakazam and reveal a sponge cake for Smell. Banjo gives her a bottle of whisky. Alone, Shaun asks Smell if she’d be his girlfriend. She says she’d love to be.

Combo intercepts Lol on her way to work and presents her with a box he made for her. He says he’s always loved her. She says it’s never gonna happen. Combo cries and thumps the car window.

At the flat, Combo walks in with Milky, having just scored weed from him. Combo ensures nobody has a problem, then says they can all get stoned. After a while, Gadget starts freaking out and Smell walks him home. Milky, Shaun and Combo are all passing a joint around.

Milky says Combo’s choice of music is the sort of thing Milky and his uncles listen to. Combo’s an original skinhead from ’69. The soul of that music resonates within him. Combo says it was unity, black and white together. Combo and Milky clasp hands and Combo says they’re brothers.

Combo learns about Milky’s extended family, great childhood and delicious ethnic food. Combo says Milky has the whole, perfect package and gets to his feet where he racially abuses Milky. Milky smiles incredulously.

Combo tells Milky to stop smiling. Shaun also tells Milky to stop. Soon, hundreds of punches rain down on Milky, Combo shouting how he hates Milky and his race.

Combo smashes a bottle over Banjo’s head, covering Meggy in blood. Combo throttles Meggy against a wall, then throws both men out. Combo aggressively tells visual hallucinations to leave him alone. Shaun discovers Milky’s unresponsive. Combo says he didn’t mean it, adding to Shaun that real men don’t cry. Milky’s taken to hospital. Alone, Shaun gets the English flag and throws it into the sea.

Starring Thomas Turgoose. Stephen Graham. Jo Hartley. Rated 18. Dir Shane Meadows. Released in the UK 2006. Runtime 1hr 41mins

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Ad teaches & gives speeches on his MH struggle + recovery at institutions right across the world. (Movie Sushi pieces contain spoilers)