County Lines

County Lines ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Henry Blake. Cast: Conrad Khan, Harris DickinsonAshley MadekweMarcus Rutherford.

Inspired by true events and director Henry Blake’s first-hand experience as a social worker dealing with young children (this is his first feature length film), County Lines is another one of those “not-easy-to-watch” story the likes of which I seem to stumble across quite often recently (it must be award season!). 

The story of a young kid of 14 who gets groomed into a drug dealing network which exploits vulnerable children and has them  trafficking from cities to coastal and countryside towns all over the country. A sad caption at the end of the film reminds us all that this is not an isolated and made up story: up to 10000 children as young as 11 are involved in “Country lines” across the UK. Shameful and heartbreaking stats

The film opens with a question from a social worker to the kids. Do you know what “acceptable loss” is in your business? It’s you.”

“County Lines” is filmed with unflinching realism though a rather bleak cinematography which enhances the stark poverty these people live in. 

The script is not the most original and some of the lines are a bit “in your face”, but the real heart of the film is the splendid performance by Conrad Khan who manages to evoke that sweetness and vulnerability that children have and at the same time a violent side of him which is totally unexpected but just as believable. 

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