YOUNG SOUL REBELS
BFI/FILMFOUR FEATURE FILM 1991
WINNER OF THE CRITICS AWARD, CANNES 1991
This convoluted, but largely character-driven thriller/drama is the feature film debut of British documentary filmmaker Isaac Julien, and provides viewers with an insider's look at the diverse life styles of hip, young black immigrants who lived upon the fringes of 1977 London society. The film begins in a colorful park setting where in the late night hours, gay men cruise looking for free love. A stabbing occurs and unbeknownst to the killer, a passerby has recorded it on cassette. The story then jumps to two young aspiring DJs, the heterosexual and flamboyant Chris and his best friend, the gay and rather reserved Caz, as they defiantly broadcast soul music from their rag-tag, rolling pirate radio station. With their "Soul Patrol," the two symbolically thumb their noses at the conservative BBC that dominates the airwaves. The murder victim is a friend of Caz, and he becomes a prime suspect in the murder. Unbeknownst to him, someone has dropped by the cassette tape with the evidence that will save him. At the same time his friendship with Chris becomes strained when it becomes obvious that both young men are on the cusp of heading in dramatically different life directions. Caz has been getting increasingly involved with the politics and wildness of the fledgling punk rock movement while normally wild Chris has been offered a lucrative contract to work as a DJ's at a major, mainstream radio station by his new girl friend Tracy, a production assistant at the network. Still the two try to somehow prepare to co-host a concert protesting the upcoming Queen's Silver Jubilee celebration.