Whilst the Tory government’s destruction of traditional industries during the 1980s was arguably just speeding-up the inevitable, it left scars which are still evidence in today’s Britain. Communities which have never really recovered, leaving towns and cities to decay. The traditional industrial heartland of the north of England was badly hit. With the decline of shipbuilding, post-industrial coastal towns were essentially left to rot. This is the setting for Rene van Pannevis’ new film, Looted.
Rob (Charley Palmer Rothwell) makes his money through car-jacking, but it’s his hot-tempered best mate Leo (Thomas Turgoose) who does all the organising. They sell their spoils to a local gangster, Amir (Daniel-John Williams), to earn enough a measly crust. Rob cares for his dad (Tom Fisher), who is dying from terminal lung disease. A result of his years working as a merchant seaman. When the chance of a bigger job comes along, he’s reluctant at first but it’s too good an opportunity to pass-up.
Filmed over seventeen days on a micro budget, Looted is an impressive drama which shines a light on a generation left to rot in coastal communities. The semi-autobiographical film does slightly overreach at times, in terms of the dialogue, story and acting; unsurprising considering the constraints as play. Whilst van Pannevis expands on his own shot film, Jacked, it does feel like a bit of a stretch to get it to the runtime. However, that’s not taking anything away from Looted, which is an urgent and timely tale of life in the margins.
Looted is released on Curzon Home Cinema and other VOD platforms on 6 November.