Blinded by the Light, with Safraz Manzoor

Saturday 31 August

Venue: Kino Teatr

19.00 to 22.00

Tickets £15.00 from Kino Teatr

Director: Gurinder Chadha (Bend it like Beckham)

With: Viveik Kalra, Hayley Atwell, Rob Brydon, Kulvinder Ghir, Nell Williams, Aaron Phagura.

http://www.sundance.org/projects/blinded-by-the-light

Premiered this year at Sundance, where it received standing ovations and the biggest release deal of the Festival.

Based on the autobiographical book by presenter and journalist Sarfraz Manzoor it tells the story of Javed, a British teen of Pakistani descent growing up in 1987 England.

Amidst the racial and economic turmoil of the times, he writes poetry as a means to escape the intolerance of his hometown and the inflexibility of his traditional father. But when a classmate introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteen, Javed sees parallels to his working-class life in the powerful lyrics.

As Javed discovers an outlet for his own pent-up dreams, he also begins to express himself in his own voice.

Blinded by the Light marks an exuberant return to form for director Gurinder Chada. Based on a memoir by Sarfraz Manzoor, it’s the sort of unguarded drama they used to make in the ‘80s — both a coming-of-age tale of unabashed sincerity and a delirious and romantic rock ‘n’ roll parable.

It’s also a bracing movie about growing up. Chadha colours in the late ’80s: the cults of Reagan and Thatcher, rising unemployment and economic depression, the National Front marches that, in hindsight, were the embryonic version of the anti-immigrant fervour that helped lead to Brexit.

Blinded by the Light takes you to that place where pop can be everything: the promise of a life you don’t have yet, but the music says that you can get it. Bruce’s lyrics touch the darkness, but they’re also about a promise: that you can escape and find yourself.

Owen Glieberman, Variety

 

Sarfraz Manzoor

Sarfraz Manzoor is a British journalist, documentary maker, and broadcaster. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian, presenter of documentaries on BBC Radio 4, and a cultural commentator who appears on programmes such as Newsnight Review and Saturday Review.