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Liam

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

His story will steal your heart.

It's the 1930s and 7-year-old Liam (Anthony Burrows) is growing up in an Irish Catholic quarter across the Mersey River from Liverpool. He has a loving mother (Claire Hackett), his father (Ian Hart) is a responsible breadwinner and his older brother and sister are fond and helpful. Times are hard but Liam's family is a happy one. The kids are doing well in school and dad's job is secure. Until he loses it. This is a child's eye view of one family's free fall into poverty during the depression era, rich with humanity and gallows humour necessary for survival.

Also starring David Hart as Con, Megan Burns as Teresa, Anne Reid as Mrs Abernathy, Russell Dixon as Father Ryan, Julia Deakin as Auntie Aggie, Andrew Schofield as Uncle Tom, Bernadette Shortt as Lizzie, David Carey as Lizzie's husband, David Knopov as Mr Samuels, Jane Gurnett as Mrs Samuels and Gema Loveday as Jane Samuels. Written by Jimmy McGovern, directed by Stephen Frears.

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Doing it tough.

Liam is almost a timeless film in that capitalism will always ruin the lives of those who have no capital. Rich people will get richer while poor people will get poorer. To paraphrase one of Karl Marx' most potent aphorisms, "Those who produce goods will never be paid the full value of their labour", as the rich skim the cream from the top of the bucket and pay the poor just enough to keep them healthy enough to produce more goods. Why else do you think that the world is in such a mess?

Anthony is almost overpoweringly adorable; he is a cherub incarnate, he is little Irish devil, he is an actor who knows nothing but truth. He commands your attention in every scene and the subtlety of his performance makes the adults seem almost amateurish despite the strength of their abilities. The range of the actors - and the film - runs the gamut from carefree celebration to an insane despair.

This is not a film for the faint of heart, nor for those with stunted attention spans. There are no car chases, no explosions, no shootings, no bleeding and no amazing special effects. Liam is a warts-and-all drama about your dreadful society and the way it destroys one innocent family.

Happy viewing.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Cast and crew
  • Production notes
  • Synopsis

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level violence)

Surveillance time

91 minutes (1:31 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: Undated July 2001
DVD rental: 19 December 2001
VHS rental: 19 December 2001
DVD retail: Undated April 2002

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