Rocks (12A) – Cambridge Film Festival
Cambridge Film Festival’s opening night film Rocks is a triumph, forged on collaboration between the cast and its creative team.
A film about friendship, and how those bonds fluctuate among a group of Year 9 girls, Rocks, directed by Sarah Gavron (Suffragette, Brick Lane) and written by Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson, was made by a 75 per cent female crew.
The core cast, picked from London schools and youth hubs, workshopped with the filmmakers for nine months before they were shown an outline of the story, and the actors play their roles with a passion and commitment that oozes the strengths gained from this foundation.
Rocks is one of the girls. Shortly into the film, her mother leaves a note, saying that she will be gone for some time – with a few notes of money beside it. It leaves her with her much younger brother Emmanuel to look after.
From the support of her friends, before; a separation then occurs that, while unsurprisingly predictable, is powerful in its speed, simplicity and almost-documentary reality.
We have a window into parts of inner London life rarely seen on our screens, as these young women-of-the-future deal with harsh situations in a variety of ways, from despair to warmth.
The cast’s humanity, conviction and portrayal of a story in a way that feels real to them is very evident; and makes Rocks a must-see.
The festival runs until 24 October cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk
Read our festival preview here