Rose. Perhaps the most powerful film Ive seen for years.

There are certain reviewers out there whose style it is to go through plot points when talking about a project. Telling some of the story as they entice a potential audience. I’ve always avoided storyline articles, not for any specific reason other than I enjoy watching a film ‘cold’, knowing very little about it other than very rough clues as to the type of film I will be watching. That style works for some, not for others but hey it works for me so I will keep doing it.

Rewind to a date early in March 2014 and I met up with actor Lucas Penn in my new town of Northampton. Lucas was there that day to help out some local film students with a short project and he invited me to tag along.

Lucas Penn & Kemal Yildirim

Lucas Penn & Kemal Yildirim

I very much enjoyed the day, enjoyed meeting Lucas and watching him work. Also along for moral support (not that Lucas needs any) was film maker Kemal Yildirim and so whilst Lucas worked his magic, I was given a chance to chat with Kemal about the projects he has worked on in the past and a few glimpses into things in his future.

Director Kemal Yildirim

Director Kemal Yildirim

Later that week I heard from Kemal, who asked me if I would be interested in viewing a completed project called ‘Rose’ Of course I said YES!

rose 1

I knew nothing about ‘Rose’ other than ‘Based on a True Story’ which is my favourite type of film. I love fiction but there is something more powerful about a film if you know it actually happened to someone.

So,  I sat down and watched ‘Rose’ and what can I tell you about the film. Well firstly. Crikey!

Earlier I saw another review of ‘Rose’ that commented on the difficulty of writing any comments about a film that tackles the subject of violence. Im not talking about horror violence, I am talking about real violence, against women, against children, but more than that, violent acts that actually happened and werent just created by a screenwriter and a keyboard.

rose 2

The word ‘Powerful’ doesnt even come close to a good word for this film. It blew me away. It is a very hard watch, yes of course. But for me it was an eighty-six minute film with impact. For the real ‘Rose’ it was far longer than that, and for Kemal who co-wrote (with Jack James & Steven Loveless) and directed the film it was four years of his life.  You will most definitely be hearing more about the film ‘Rose’ and the work of Kemal from me and I cant give the film ‘Rose’ high enough praise.

Rose (Helen Clifford) lives in Hellville (a made up town name but thats where fiction ends and true life takes over). Rose truly lives in hell, with her daughter Ellie (Chelsea Alcock) and hell is most certainly an understatement.


Battling to escape her violent world and protect her daughter, Rose battles with drug addiction, abuse, and a host of very grim characters that pollute Hellville.  All made even tougher by the knowledge that you know all this actually happened to real people. Its truly heartbreaking but has to be seen.

Yes its a tough watch, but as I mentioned, its eighty six minutes out of your life that will stay with you far, far longer than that but this is one of those films that isnt about entertainment. Its about a message, its about helping, its about not walking through life with your eyes closed. Its also about making sure as many people see films like ‘Rose’ and then tell others about it.

Most films I watch are for entertainment. Rose however will and can make lives change.

Id also like to send out praise (if that’s the right word) to the real life ‘Rose’ whose life this film is based on. To help put a very dark time of your life on screen takes courage  and people WILL watch this film and it will make a difference to those going through extremely tough times in their lives.

The cast and crew have done an amazing and careful job in bringing someones life (or at least part of it) to the screen.


Later that week, I met up with Kemal again and we recorded around an hours worth of conversation where he goes in depth about the project and gives insight into how he encountered the project and how he dealt with a very real life story and brought it to screen.

That conversation is now on Itunes  and can be found by searching for ‘frompage2screen’  Kemals name will be in the episode title.

Or you can click HERE and listen to the show through this article. The podcast episodes gives you some background into the project including how Kemal came to be involved with the creation of the film. Its all very interesting listening.


I have followed the journey of the film ‘Rose’ since this initial viewing and article, and its fantastic to report that the DVD is now available. At the moment though (as of June 2014) it is only available in the USA. But other regions will follow, that I have been assured.

You can order the film by clicking HERE and it will take you to Amazon.Com where you can purchase the film. I did (thankfully I have a Multi Region DVD player)

I thought id share some of the IMDB reviews that have been left regarding the film.

If youve seen it, hop on and leave your own review.

I’ve quite literally been sat here for too long now staring at a blank screen and trying to force out the few words that can eloquently and succinctly describe the thoughts rushing through my head after watching Kemal Yildirim’s, Rose.

They are words which are refusing to leave the dark man cave that is my mind.

Rose was such an incredibly gritty and moving piece of cinema that I truly don’t quite know how to express myself properly. I don’t think I quite have the ability.

But I shall give it a go.

Rose is possibly the most difficult film I’ve ever had to watch. It is dark, really very dark, it’s full violence, injustice but above all pain, raw, visceral pain, and at more than a few points that pain hit home with a hammer blow to heart and the mind.

Rose (Helen Clifford) is a drug addicted prostitute who endures the savagery of the world and must fight against violence and oppression to claim back her own life. Her journey is harrowing and frightening to watch, made all the more so by the fact that it is all based upon a true story. Based upon the real horror and pain that a real person, not just some fictional manifestation of a cinematic idea, but a real, living, breathing person was forced to suffer, that is the quality that really made this an at times intolerable journey to witness.

Such a strong story though is still only as good as the director and his cast. And both factors work perfectly to support the harrowing tale. Yildirim is essential perfection in the directing chair. His calm, ordered approach to exploring Rose’s pain ensures the tension builds up gradually, never abating but never climaxing too soon, keeping the audience gripped to the screen and wishing they could just get up and see the sunshine and escape the pain on their TV, but being unable to miss a single second of the film.

I can’t say that you’ll enjoy this film, it is a difficult watch, but it is incredibly powerful and unbelievably poignant and its message must be heard, and it must be listened to.

This is a real story, not an emotional fluff piece of cinema, this is carnal and it is dirty and in its own way it is incredibly beautiful.  REVIEW by Jamie Casey Hall

I watch perhaps 400 films a year. Out of those, I then select a top 10 for my end of year podcasts. I first saw this film a couple of months ago and it already has its place in my top 10 of the year. Directed by Kemal Yildirim, a UK based indie filmmaker. Rose takes us into the true story (now set in a fictionally named town) where bad things happen to a wonderful woman. Brilliant and powerful performances especially by Helen Clifford in the role of ‘Rose’. Fantastically and very sensitively directed by Kemal. This film is one to watch, its a tough film to watch but you’ll be so glad you saw it. If you haven’t been through the things that Rose has, perhaps you know someone who has.

REVIEW by Dariah Smethhurst

I was so stuck for words after viewing this film. I took a blind gamble on this film after reading up on some of the Twitter postings made by the crew behind the film. So I paid my money and snagged the film from Amazon (USA). Firstly don’t watch this film with anyone wit a really sensitive nature, such as younger children. But all adults should watch this film. Id love to know just how true all of this film actually is, but if its as genuine as is made out, then the filmmakers need a pat on the back but more than that. Whoever the real ‘Rose & Ellie” are, You just want to scoop them up and give them the biggest, longest warmest hug ever given and tell them that not everyones as nasty as some of the people in their lives. A seriously powerful film – one for the recommend pile.

REVIEW by Marcus Wyler

Also I am adding the trailer for Rose, here for you to check out.

One thought on “Rose. Perhaps the most powerful film Ive seen for years.

  1. Pingback: Rose. Perhaps the most powerful film Ive seen for years. | FromPage2Screen

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