Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster

sophielancasterLast week, I attended the premiere of the film Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster at the Dance House in Manchester.

The film was made to support the Sophie Lancaster Foundation which was formed by Sylvia Lancaster following her daughter’s murder in 2007. Sophie Lancaster was attacked alongside her boyfriend Rob, for being goths. Sylvia Lancaster has since been fighting to get attacks against people of alternative subcultures listed as a hate crime. She has since been successful with this in some districts in the UK (including Greater Manchester). She also works with schools and prisons to educate people on this issue.

As you may remember, in 2013 I worked as a crew assistant on a film inspired by Sophie Lancaster called And She Cried. Which was based off the tragedy but was very different.

The film Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster was adapted from a play/ radio play of the same name which weaved together poetry by Simon Armitage, with an incredibly raw and emotional interview with Sylvia Lancaster. I remember listening to the play on the BBC radio 4 back in 2011 and crying all throughout.  The film was very similar, produced by Susan Roberts (who also produced the play) and visually it was stunning. Similarly to the radio play, it was very emotional. The beautiful poetry worked brilliantly with the visuals added.  I thought the performances from the two actresses were also really good, particularly Julie Hesmondhalgh who played Sylvia in the film was very moving. The Sophie Lancaster Foundation will be using it as an educational tool to prevent such a crime happening again.

You can currently find the film on BBC iplayer here.


Author: emilysteelefilm

Filmmaker, Writer, Feminist.

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