Sensitive poetry-writing teen Javed (Viveik Kalra) faces racism in the streets and strictness in the home from his disciplinarian father (Kulvinder Ghir). Yet his life is transformed when he is introduced by new buddy Roops (Aaron Phagura) to the music of Bruce Springsteen. Soon after, a world of writing, love and optimism opens up for him.
Music can make the other side of the ocean feel like it’s only a hop, skip, and a jump away. It’s the reason Bruce Springsteen can speak directly to a British-Pakistani teenager, who is just trying to survive Thatcher’s Britain. That teenager was journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, who in 2007, published Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock’n’ Roll. It documented his childhood in Luton as influenced by his fixation on The Boss, who he’s seen in concert more than 150 times.
This film, based on Manzoor’s book transfers many of his experiences onto the fictional Javed (Viveik Kalra), a shy, retiring kid living in Luton in 1987. He harbours ambitions to become a poet, despite his father Malik’s (Kulvinder Ghir) wishes that he become either a doctor or lawyer. Not that his best friend, Matt (Dean-Charles Chaplin) understands him much better. He can’t see why Javed would want to write songs about the Cold War and Reaganomics, when all that’s really important is hot girls, synths, and extra firm hold hairspray. What finally punctures Javed’s sense of loneliness are the two Springsteen cassette tapes handed to him by his classmate Roops (Aaron Phagura), who tells him: “Bruce is the direct line to all that is true in this s****y world.”
Blinded by the Light strikes right to the heart of why Springsteen’s work has had such an impact on culture and offers not only a reminder of Springsteen’s lyrical genius, but of how he’s always served as a beacon for the disenfranchised, wherever they may be. The film’s title comes from Springsteen’s song that was made famous by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.
9 October 2019
11:30AM & 7:30PM
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