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England Is Mine

Mark Gill

Still able to provoke controversy for his militant vegetarianism and outspoken political views, singer-songwriter Steven Patrick Morrissey will forever be associated with the seminal 1980s band The Smiths. England Is Mine, selected to close this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, focuses on the singer-songwriter’s early adult years in Manchester.

"Captures the agony and ecstasy of young rebellion and dreams..."

Keen to establish himself as a writer, young Morrissey (Jack Lowden) writes hopeful letter after letter to the New Musical Express, whilst earning his living working in the local tax office to help support his family. Desperate to escape this dull existence, he is forever skiving off with local art student Linder (Jessica Brown Findlay) or escaping to the office rooftop to work on his lyrics. Not content settling for the status quo, Morrissey still can’t quite bring himself to break from it. Arrogant, driven and yet misunderstood, Morrissey struggles to find his place in the Manchester music scene until a certain young guitarist called Johnny Marr turns up; and the rest is history.

Although unauthorised, England Is Mine will resonate with Smiths fans, anyone who lived through the 80s, and a whole new generation who are just discovering this great moment in British music. Told with humour and a real love for the material, it captures the agony and ecstasy of young rebellion and dreams.