Ray & Liz
There are very few British working-class voices in modern cinema.
It’s one area of representation which seems to have disappeared in recent years. This is also the case when it comes to the depiction of poverty on the big screen. In Ray & Liz, Turner Prize-nominated artist Richard Billingham returns to his roots, focusing on memories of his parents, and a troubled childhood growing up in Birmingham during the Thatcher era.
Based on his own memories and photographs, Billingham gives the audience a glimpse into his childhood through a series of intimate vignettes and snippets. Perfectly shot in 16mm, we’re transported into his home and welcomed into the degradation. Whilst Ray & Liz could easily have been painfully unsympathetic and extremely difficult to watch, there’s an element of humour, sweetness and empathy which allows us to see their almost fatalistic descent into state sponsored poverty. It’s a beautifully crafted and meticulously made snapshot of life on the margins of society.
Winner of Best Debut Film Award at the BIFAs in 2018.
Nominated for a BAFTA.
'(B)y turns brutal, tender and bleakly funny. This is an off-kilter, obliquely topical portrait of how grinding poverty begets dysfunction.' James Lattimer, Sight & Sound