As an unapologetic UK/Irishphile I am totally aware of what is popular on that side of the Atlantic does not always translate over in North America. I am aware of music from that part of the world that folks over here are not familiar with. For the most part, it is unfortunately the same when it comes to films. That part of the world crafts some of the best films but they do not always get the number of eyes on them over here.
Things are a little better now due to streaming and VOD (Dirty God is available on digital platforms such as iTunes, Amazon and Google Play), so there are opportunities to see films which don’t get released in theatres here (Remember when that happened? LOL).
Have you ever thought about what you would do if your life changed in an instant? The blink of an eye. This is part of what Sacha Polak’s (Hemel, Zurich) asks viewers to contemplate.
A film which screened at Sundance in 2019, this is definitely director and co-screenwriter Polak’s strongest film. That is largely due to the amazing performance by the young lead actress, Vicky Knight. More amazing when you find out this is her first film. She taps deep (or maybe not so) into her own personal experience to bring to the screen Jade. Successfully brings to the screen a young female who fights to not allow how she looks define her for the rest of the world. On top of that she makes us care about a character who is not especially likable, despite all that she has been through.
Jade (Vicky Knight) is the mother of a young child, though her mother (Katherine Kelly – from television’s Mr. Selfridge) does most of the parenting. After suffering an acid attack at the hands of her boyfriend, Jade has found her face and upper body severely scarred. Living in a world which focuses on looks, she feels the brunt of the scars. Even her young daughter is scared of her face. As such, Jade is sullen and spends a large part of her time partying.
So all she does is go to doctors trying to find someone who will fix them. All have told her they cannot; that the damage is too severe.
Pushed by desperation, Jade finds a place online which says they can perform the surgery on her face. She steals the money from her mother and embarks on the trip to Morocco with her best friend Shami (Rebecca Stone – first feature film). Upset when Shami brings her boyfriend Naz (Bluey Robinson – appeared in episodes of Doctors and Eastenders), Jade tries to just focus on getting the operation.
Though this is a rather slow paced and often quiet film, there is plenty going on underneath the surface. Thought provoking moments pile up due to the fine storytelling.