Josephine Grahl reviews Plan B’s iLL Manors. There will be plot spoilers after the jump.
As the bunting is taken down after the Jubilee, and David Cameron looks forward to the Olympics being a “giant advertisement” for Britain, it’s perhaps a good moment to be reminded of last year’s most dramatic London event, the riots which erupted in August. Rapper Plan B’s song iLL Manors was one of the first mainstream cultural responses to the riots, and he’s followed it up with a film of the same title which looks at the lives of a group of young people growing up in the impoverished council estates of Forest Gate in Newham, east London, where he was born and grew up. iLL Manors doesn’t deal with the riots themselves, instead focusing on the day-to-day life of a group of drug dealers and their hangers-on in the fictional Circle Estate.