Based on Sarfraz Manzoor’s book “Greetings from Bury Park – Race. Religion. Rock ‘N’ Roll.”, Blinded by Light is a coming of age movie with a racial twist. Javed, a first-generation Pakistani immigrant, takes teenage angst to a whole new level. It’s Britain in the 1980s as Javed juggles being a teenager within a traditional and very strict family amidst the rise of the alt-right complete with regular racist slurs.
Add to that stress the father losing his job after years working in the Vauxhall company, the expense of a family wedding, Javed harbouring ambitions of being a writer/poet while pretending to be majoring in Economics and poor mother sewing around the clock to make ends meet. Poor Javed can’t catch a break until a new school friend gives him a Bruce Springsteen cassette, which literally changes his life.
Heartwarming and heartfelt but admittedly a bit naff in places, Blinded by Light is an important movie that gives us a birdseye view of being on the receiving end of racism with dignified humility. Obviously, the soundtrack is all Springsteen so if you like the Boss, you’ll love this movie.
Theatre was my first love. It all started with the One-Act and 3-Act AmDram festivals in our local theatre to get out of the house to smoke cigarettes on school nights. It wasn’t long before I had graduated onto the Class As in the Abbey, Peacock, Project, Tivoli and even more fringe events and locations. It’s physical. Being present with the cast, the crew, the soundscape of mutters, coughs, and gasps from the audience; the dust, the set, the murmur murmur hum before curtain. Pure energy. I can forgive anything — set, direction, costumes, props, performance — except bad writing.
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