By Destiny Adeyemi, BA African studies
‘Rocks’ is a film which explores sisterhood from a young, Black, British girl’s perspective. It was heavily praised at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF), and released on Netflix on 1 October. The film was directed by Sarah Gavron and features a diverse, female cast. The main character, ‘Rocks,’ is played by Bukky Bakray, and Kosar Ali plays Sumaya, Rock’s best friend.
The story follows Rock’s journey with her humorous brother Emmanuel after their mother disappears. Early on in the film, previous mental health issues of Rock’s mother are hinted at, with her leaving for short periods. The main character is heavily explored and developed. The characters are written with purpose and fully realised through the acting. Rocks is a flawed character: she steals from friends, she does not ask for help. However, the film critiques a flawed system that does not do much to help her.
Friendship becomes a key theme as Rocks and her brother go from couchsurfing to sleeping in a hotel. The film has a dynamic portrayal of social services, featuring a painful moment with a social worker. Rock’s friends later support her in seeing Emmanuel. In this tender moment Rock’s maturity and love for her brother is explored.
The film portrays a natural slice of young black girl’s life and the sisterhood that keeps her going.
Photo Caption: Poster for ‘Rocks’. Credit: @bukksbakray.