Slamdance 2021: “A Brixton Tale”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A romantic relationship, especially for youth, can be hectic and unpredictable because they always try to prove something. It could quickly transform the young and innocent into a ruthless and dangerous adult, or a sweetheart which, quite obviously, “A Brixton Tale” is all about.

Leah, a wealthy and ruthless YouTuber, loves a street life. Her camera, with great detail, captures the bright and the dark side of the life she is in love with. When she meets the naïve and shy Benji, from Somerleyton, Brixton, she makes him her documentary subject. As their relationship evolves professionally first, they get involved romantically too, and that will slowly turn their existence upside down, putting their well being and freedom at risk.

When the film opens, we meet Leah who, quietly armed with a video camera and a keen eye, begins to record people around. It’s then she notices Benji with his friend Arch. Benji does not have the wealth Leah has, but he has a heart she certainly lacks. There’s something about her you will never be able to force yourself to admit nor like. She is off of something and certainly not the kind of person to share the road with.

It’s she who begins contributing to Benji’s change as he becomes bold and ruthless at the same time. He is no longer Benji you admired. He starts drinking and using drugs. But all that will be the least of his problems as the big one is yet to arrive with the help of Leah, who wants to capture her best video yet, no matter how far she has to go to obtain it.

From writers Darragh Carey and Rupert Baynham, and directors Darragh Carey and Bertrand Desrochers, “A Brixton Tale” explores the impact of YouTube on the younger generation, their pursuit for more clicks, and how the boundaries between right and wrong can be easily crossed without hesitation. While it’s far from being perfect, it’s a fine portrayal of the image of street culture, money-driven environment, race and class, and what it may bring as a result, if misused.

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