Replacing the Congo with the urban jungle of West London's high-rises and council homes, Brown allows Jumah to exchange a world were violence is prevalent, to another where it sinisterly stalks the circumferences of everyday life, deeply rooted within a community forced into the gloomiest waylays of society. Sixteen often feels like it's going to fall into contrived melodrama, but Brown manages to keep its head above the murky waters of contrived symbolism and dramatic clichés. Sensitive issues such as Jumah's troubled past and subsequent night terrors dealt with well. Thankfully, this conceit only ever departs its engaging lead to subtly broach more universal themes, such as the displacement of London's communities and the hierarchy of male dominance and implied brutality that replaces bureaucracy in these neglected neighbourhoods. This enticing twist on the familiar looks set to garner acclaim at LFF, and only furthers the belief that British cinema remains in miraculously health - irrespective of the rancorous attack on its funding.
Patrick Gamble | @PatrickJGamble