Dir: Sean McAllister | Starring: Steve Arnott, Sean McAllister | 2018 | Rating: 15 | Running Time: 73 mins
The opening film of this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest, A Northern Soul sees BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Sean McAllister return to his hometown of Hull to follow Steve Arnott, a local resident with a dream of delivering music workshops to the city’s youth in the form of a mobile recording studio and confidence-building classes. Whilst he sets out to offer local youth an opportunity he never had, Steve's day job is working in a warehouse to provide for his family. A tale of everyman heroism, this is an intimate, heartfelt and panoramic glimpse of life in England under austerity cuts and Brexit uncertainties, proof of how community spirit can thrive even under the most difficult circumstances.
“A profound social document with gold in its soul… A Northern Soul is a rebuff to the idea that having nothing financial to show means you have nothing in your soul to show… a film powered by searing integrity” – Little White Lies
“A great work of radical empathy... functions brilliantly on both a political and emotional level… Ultimately uplifting and hopeful” - The Guardian
“Essential viewing in the age of austerity… (an) unassumingly scaled yet hugely encompassing piece of documentary portraiture… Trenchant and unsentimental but suffused with genuine feeling, this modest yet tellingly insightful encounter with everyday struggle is one of the truly essential recent British films” – Sight & Sound
Also showing as part of our Sean McAllister retrospective (Sat 03/11- Sun 04/11): Japan: A Story of Love and Hate, The Reluctant Revolutionary, A Syrian Love Story