Great film on tonight

For my Finnish readers:

YLE2 has an excellent documentary on tonight. It’s called Fucking Sheffield and it is on at 11:30pm. Watch it if you can. Here’s a review from

The team behind the award winning 1995 documentary Tales From A Hard City, namely director Kim Flitcroft and producer Alex Usbourne, have returned to that film’s core themes (drug use and its wider impact, the dark side of Sheffield life) for their latest collaboration, the more succinctly titled Fucking Sheffield.

Rather than look at the city as a whole, addressing its social and environmental problems in turn, Flitcroft has opted for a more personal approach, focusing on the lives of four ordinary working class Sheffielders, each facing different obstacles in their lives and careers. Mick is an unemployed heroin addict who dreams of resuscitating his old Vespa scooter for one last trip to Cleethorpes. Cassi is a pregnant lapdancer facing something of a career crossroads, with aspirations of a career in the music business. Stevlor is a photographer working on a book of pseudo-arty topless/nude/bikini shots which he hopes will enhance the reputation of Sheffield’s female population. And Glen, who appeared as a car thief and heroin addict in Tales From A Hard City, is now grown up, clean, and looking for work.

In choosing to film the lives of four ordinary people, and to present the results without any real narrative or commentary, the team behind Fucking Sheffield could have found themselves stuck with an incredibly dull end product. Fortunately, two of the four characters came good, with Stevlor providing comedy and seediness in equal measures and Mick stealing the show. During the course of the film we see him pestering his family for money, selling his laminate flooring for a fix, and spending a considerable chunk of his weekly budget on stickers for his beloved Vespa, seemingly the only possession he hasn’t sold to fund his habit. For all his failings along the way, his stuttering journey towards getting a methadone script and reviving the fortunes of his scooter is a truly heartwarming one, and certainly the main reason behind this film’s success.

It’s difficult to ascertain what kind of a release and exposure Fucking Sheffield will receive outside of its native South Yorkshire but, as one of the highlights of the city’s recent documentary festival, it certainly deserves a wider audience. If you get the chance, it’s certainly worth the 80 minutes of your time.


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