Skinheads Film Analysis

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The film is a touching, painful and true portrayal of skinhead subculture in England in the eighties and begins with our main character, a 12-year-old isolated schoolboy called Shaun. He is woken up not by an alarm but by the radio talking about the glory of going to war. Shaun is dealing with the loss of his father in the Falklands war, and has the behavior of not giving in when criticism or verbal abuse comes his way, which we can see when he insults the Pakistani owner of a store Shaun was banned from. His stubborn behavior also causes him trouble when he is picked on at school due to his pants, but also introduces him to a group of skinheads in a tunnel led by Woody. Their group consists of Milky who is the only black skinhead in the group, Lol who is Woody 's significant other, Gadget, Smell (Shaun’s older love interest with an interesting sense of style), along with five others. The existence of a black member (who later becomes a target of abuse as certain members start to embrace the National Front) highlights the…show more content…
Skinheads gained much inspiration from reggae music, which Combo admits to with Milky when he says ‘it was people like your uncle that introduced that stuff to me’. The music scene was changing fast which also led to the decline of skinheads. Reggae’s influence on the subculture is seen more when Combo talks about how the music ‘resonated’ with original skinheads. We can see the struggle of skinheads to keep old traditions and culture alive. Another important scene in the movie is when Woody doesn’t stand up for Milky (brown skinhead) when Combo talks about his ‘cigar fingers’, ‘Sweaty black hands’ and calls him a ‘Wog’. Milky is asked if he considers himself ‘English’ to which he agrees to and makes Combo proud which leads him to say ‘That’s what we need, that’s what this nation is built on’. Milky’s ability to accept or be proud of his identity and culture have been stripped away from
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