ACMI and the BFI present
Australian premiere. Screens with short film 'Goldfish' (2020)
Drawing on his own experiences as a youth worker, filmmaker Henry Blake crafts a coming-of-age crime story that follows a 14-year-old as he's initiated into an illegal network of drug smugglers.
Obeying the rule 'write what you know', former youth worker turned filmmaker Henry Blake turns in an original, stylish debut feature which premiered at the 2019 BFI London Film Festival.
County Lines exposes the titular urban-to-rural drugs network which exploits children for use as couriers – children like Tyler (Conrad Khan), adrift and so perfect a target for Simon (Harris Dickinson) to charm, befriend, and recruit. Tyler's rapid apprenticeship propels the story, which is persuasively brutal and corrosive. But Blake’s film is authentic and sensitive too, and beneath it all, has huge heart and unexpected optimism.
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Starring Brandon Banton, a real-life victim of knife crime, Goldfish weaves a tale of loss in the city with Banton’s story – and we're thrown in at the deep end from the first frame. Hector Dockrill's short film is a masterful examination of trauma interrupting everyday life.
Hector Dockrill | 2020 | United Kingdom | English | 18 min
READ: “People need to know this”: County Lines and the teenage trauma of drug running
Isabel Stevens, Sight & Sound, Dec 2020
READ: ‘You’re from Middle Earth!’: The Kiwi director who won the trust of drug mules
Stepanie Bunbury, The Age, Mar 2022
READ: “These boys are really messed up”: the heartbreaking true story behind County Lines
Paul Bradshaw, NME, Nov 2021
Dissenters, Lovers and Ghosts: New British Cinema
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