Tuesday, 9 March 2010

FIT - Omni, Vue - 9/3/10

Did you ever have to sit in a sex education class at school or some sort of social issues class?

Did you ever have to watch one of those terrible "made for schools" films featuring people in their mid-thirties attempting to get "down" with the kids while using slang from the 1960's?

You must know the sort of thing. Films made by people who were never young, who never experienced any of the problems they were talking about and who didn't particularly like young people...but aimed at those very young people who are young, who experience real problems every day and who don't know how to deal with them.

The issue of sexuality must be the most difficult for young people to deal with. They are bombarded with images of what it means to be "normal" every day. If they feel differently to that it must create angst, depression, anger, self-loathing and fear on a scale most of us can't begin to understand.

FIT is a film that looks to tackle those feelings and to confront the issue of homophobia in schools by facing those things head on and not skirting around the edges. It is a film featuring young actors who are totally convincing, saying things that have clearly been influenced by many hours of workshops and interviews with young people struggling to come to terms with their sexuality.

Every reel feels real.

There is a warmth, tenderness, compassion and understanding running through it that makes it impossible for the viewer not to feel for each of the characters and their struggles. The responsibility for that lies not just with the performers but with writer/director/star RIkki Beadle-Blair, a man who clearly loves not just what he does but the people he is doing it for. His own compassion and understanding of the issues comes across loud and clear.

FIT probably won't get a cinema release, it won't get recognition come awards season, it may even lie gathering dust in some staff-rooms but there will be at least one awkward adolescent somewhere who will see it in one of those classes I mentioned earlier and who will suddenly realise that they are not a freak, they are not abnormal, they are simply themselves. That will be a big moment and will make the love and attention that this project was clearly made with worthwhile.

FIT...totally gay and thank goodness it is.

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