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London River [DVD] [2009]


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Product details

  • Actors: Brenda Blethyn, Sotigui Kouyate, Roschdy Zem
  • Directors: Rachid Bouchareb
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Trinity Films
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Oct. 2010
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003U7DYL2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,479 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

London River tells the story of a friendship which develops between two seemingly unconnected people: Elizabeth (Academy Award nominee Brenda Bleythn) and Ousmane (Sotigui Kouyate). Both have come to London to search for their children who are missing in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings. Beautifully detailed and movingly realised by Academy Award nominated director Rachid Bouchareb (Days Of Glory), the film convincingly creates a portrait of a multi-ethnic city struggling to come to terms with the terrorist attacks. At its centre it contains a stunning lead performance from Brenda Blethyn hailed by critics as her strongest since she won a best actress Golden Globe for Secrets and Lies.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Sept. 2010
Format: DVD
The subject of the London terrorist bombings of 7 July 2005 is one that you would expect to be handled with tact, insight and delicacy, presumably by a director of the likes of Stephen Frears from a script by Hanif Kureishi. What you probably don't expect is a film by a French director whose last movie was a WWII epic from the perspective of French-African Muslim soldiers (Days Of Glory), a director who decides to examine the event in the aftermath, neatly viewing it from the perspective of a Christian mother and a Muslim father. Elisabeth and Ousmané have come separately to the city to look for their children who have gone missing on the day of the bombings, both of them are initially mistrustful of each other, but eventually they realise that they are not so different and it's in their mutual interests to help each other.

That all sounds a little contrived and not a little bleak and depressing, but in reality, it turns out that Rachid Bouchareb's choices and methods are highly effective. Filmed in 2008, while the memory of the bombing was still fresh in the minds of Londoners, Bouchareb worked from nothing more than an outline of a script, soaking in the atmosphere of inner city London and allowing the process of trying to find missing children take its own course rather than come with a predetermined idea of what it ought to be like. Bouchareb would even allow a number of key scenes to be improvised by the actors, convincingly capturing the awkwardness and confusion of two people who don't know each other, who would seem to have little in common, and who are a little mistrustful of each other and of what the other person is going to say or do.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marit Rønning Frivik on 25 Nov. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have loved all the film Brenda Blethyn has acted in. And she did not let me down now. She acted beautifully with Sotigiu Kouyate.It was not glamorous stars made loook "ordenary". They were real people.The film was only rated to 4 in the Norwegian papers and did not go very long in the movies. So then I had to buy it, and don't regret it, because this is not a movie you only see once
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 July 2012
Format: DVD
London River is a quietly powerful and thought-provoking drama surrounding the aftermath of the London 7-7-2005 bombings.

Brenda Blethyn, ever-watchable, is entirely believable as the distraught mother who cannot trace her daughter, when she sees news footage of the devastation, from her Guernsey home. On the other side of the coin is elderly, black and dread-locked Sotigui Kouyate, trying to contact his son, whom he walked out on when the boy was six, then having been working in France since.

Both end up searching in London, Blethyn doing the rounds of missing person posters and showing photos to everybody she can, in the hope of any piece of news. The paths of these two unlikely kindred spirits cross when it transpires that their two children may have been living together and taking Arabic classes, through their local mosque.

As you can imagine, there's quite a lot of cross-cultural clashes here, not just the black boy, white girl aspect, but also the Muslim element and the thorny issue, particularly at the time when the film is set; terrorism. Could they have been involved, too? The mother knows her daughter and knows she couldn't have been, but the same could not be said about the father...more food for thought.

There's good solid acting from both - Blethyn typically more blubbery and emotional whilst Kouyate, as the sort of wise old sage, takes things more pragmatically and thoughtfully. It's a strange mix if you were to walk in on the film half-way through; follow it from the start and it seems quite natural.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alison m on 11 April 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Brenda blethyn is brilliant. Love her and her films. Touching story of a parents battle to search for the truth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alicja on 6 May 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have watched that film in tv, then I decided to buy it. This is about understanding the relationships between people professing different religions. Very good, interesting, deep movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hywel James TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 April 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"London River" offers a sombre and penetrating analysis of humanity, hope, loss and despair, with perhaps, a possibility of reconciliation and redemption through a sharing of common experience. In the immediate aftermath of the London bombings two parents, one a white woman, the other a black father, seek their children, desperate to discover whether or not they are victims of that senseless outrage.

The Franco-Algerian director, Rachid Bouchareb, employs a distinguished cast of players, many of whom he has previously worked with in his movies in France, most notably, in "Days of Glory". The result is a serious and entirely convincing examination of how our shared humanity can be wilfully or mistakenly masked by superficial or thoughtless prejudice.

Four rather than five stars because the pace is somewhat slow and the final scenes add little to what is otherwise a drama of great power.
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