The Violators

Great Britain 2015, 97', Feature Film
Helen Walsh
Red Union Films, David Moores, David A. Hughes



The 16-year-old Shelly lives with her brothers Andy and Jerome on a council estate in Cheshire – more a mother to them than a sister. The violent father, with whom the siblings have had a traumatic history, is in prison. Shelly makes a bit of money stealing and occasionally gets high as an antidote to the dreariness of her everyday life. She finds a Sugar Daddy in Mikey, a credit shark, who thus supports her financially. Rachel, an upper-class girl from the other side of town, appears from nowhere, mysteriously follows Shelly around and warns her about Mikey. Suddenly, Shelly’s father’s unexpected release from prison looms. She panics and seeks protection with Mikey. But he wants service in return.

Walsh tells of the complexity and fragility of teenage sexuality while keeping the balance of power between her protagonists constantly in motion. She often uses a handheld camera, dispenses with artificial lighting and – not least with a keen sense of detail (such as the bittendown fingernails of her main character) – brings the audience to see Shelly’s dismal reality from her perspective. This haunting debut, the story located somewhere in a post-industrial no-man’s land, recalls the films of Andrea Arnold.

Debut Feature Film Competition

Helen Walsh
Great Britain
Feature Film
1234567-> Sektion