#MurderedForBeingDifferent is now on BBC Iplayer ( @BBCiPlayer )

Generally when reviewing a ‘film’ its pretty easy for me to do, I’ll write about the basics of the plotline, without giving spoilers away of course. I will write about the cast, and perhaps the director. Ill write about the cinematography and the musical score and give you a pitch good enough to make you want to rush out and watch the film for yourselves and to treat yourself to an evenings enjoyment. However sometimes its not that simple, although most of the times it is. Paul Andrew Williams is one of my favourite filmmakers and is (although he might not know it) responsible for turning up the volume on my love for British films up to maximum. Many years ago I watched a film called London To Brighton and if you haven’t seen it then I suggest you do so. Whilst that film features a brilliantly dramatic storyline with some of my favourite actors around, it is also one of the most disturbing films I have seen and yet for all its grimness, the film and its dark nature is handled perfectly (and I do mean perfectly) by director Paul Andrew Williams.  Since the first viewing of that film, I have kept up to date with Paul’s work and when he is tackling a grimm film (such as Cherry Tree Lane or Murdered by My Boyfriend) he hits that perfect balance of taking us into the most horrific of events and handles is perfectly. There are very few filmmakers who can tell a tale that we know will stay with us for the rest of our lives with such precision as Paul Andrew Williams. …and he has done it again.

I live 5.5 miles away from the Lancashire town of Bacup and have lived here for a couple of decades. I remember very well the news stories reporting the brutal attack on Sophie Lancaster and Robert Maltbay in a dark park in Bacup, on the night of August 11th 2007 and recently started seeing the BBC ‘adverts’ talking about Murdered For Being Different, a true life story talking the viewer back to the events not only of that night in August 2007 but months before, days after and weeks after.

We see the best of humanity (Rob walking miles to buy Sophie a hardbook book of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 and walking miles home to let her read it) but as the title tells us, and those who know the story of Sophie and Rob, we will also see the worst possible side of humanity Murdered For Being Different is one of those stories that we watch, not only to learn what happened, but its also one of those stories that we as people should watch, and we should talk about, and we should get other people to watch it. Its dark, and its ugly, and its brutal but its so far from gratuitous that it deserves all the praise it can get for not only being a story that had to be told, but for also being a really serious bit of education that should be shown in schools, colleges and universities and is a perfect story to have on the BBC Iplayer (you can see it there now) I also hope that this story finds itself in other countries for others to see, hate crimes don’t know a language or a border, they are universal

I don’t need to or want to really go into how much of a fantastic job the cast and crew did on this story, although they did do a fantastic job on this story. I want my little bit of writing here to be enough for you to seek out Murdered For Being Different, so you can watch it, and suggest others watch it, I’ve always felt that films should either entertain you, or films should educate you. Murdered For Being Different is most definitely in the education category, although the scenes before the fateful events in the park, the scenes showing Sophie and Rob dating, getting to know each other and being the lovely couple that they were, are heartstring wrenching beautiful drama, their lives were lovely, its a treat to see them with each other, and yet as a viewer to Murdered For Being Different, we know this happiness will not last. My thoughts are with the family and friends of Rob, and with the family of friends of Sophie, and the cast and crew of Murdered For Being Different.

November 26th 1986 – August 24th 2007



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