Magazine article New Internationalist

Anita and Me Directed by Metin Huseyin

Magazine article New Internationalist

Anita and Me Directed by Metin Huseyin

Article excerpt

The early 1970s in Tollington, a one-time mining village in Britain's industrial midlands. Meena is nine years old, feisty and rebellious. Every other family is white and Meena wants to be like the other kids: she wants fishfingers for tea, not her mother's curries; she wants to celebrate Christmas and she wants presents at Diwali. Her Punjabi family's traditional ways, and their expectations of a dutiful daughter, alienate her.

Anita, a few years older, is everything Meena wants to be - the disobedient, uncompromising leader of a gang of girls. Meena tries to impress her: at night she climbs out of her bedroom window to go off with the gang; she steals a charity collection tin from a local shop.

Director Huseyin and scriptwriter Meera Syal have great fun with social mores and the peculiarities of time and place: flares and trashy pop; Meena's aspirational extended family (there's a nice role for Syal as a prim `aunty'); the social stratification and rivalries of small-town life. …

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