[WATCHED: August 19, 2013] New Boy
Wikipedia leads me to find things about authors that I don’t know. Some things lead you to unfindable items (see yesterday’s Douglas Coupland post). But this time, the post about Roddy Doyle has led me to a number of things I wouldn’t have otherwise known about,
Like this short film.
New Boy is based on his short story “New Boy.” I read the story a while ago. I remembered the basic premise, but not the details. And I was delighted by this short film. It is about 11 minutes long and it really captures the story very well.
The story is about Joseph, an African refugee, who is starting school in Ireland. He is not the only black student, but he really does stand out. And when the mean boy behind his calls him “Live Aid” you know that things aren’t going to go all that well.
But then we flash back to the boy’s past (in an unnamed African country). We see him in school there and then we see why he is a refugee (there’s nothing explicit either visually or narratively, but a lot is hinted at).
So when the Irish boy gives Joseph a hard time again, Joseph shows that he can take care of himself.
But that’s not the end. The end of the story is actually quite sweet. And what I liked best about it is that the boys kind of bond together. But not against a common enemy–they’re not going to go around bullying. Rather, they see that they have things in common after all. And the ending is quite funny too.
The film was directed by Steph Green and is available around the net. Like here on vimeo. Or just watch it below.
After watching it I read an interview with the director. She says that the story is all done from Joseph’s internal monologue–which I didn’t remember. And she decided not to use a voice over, which I think is a great idea.