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Blinded by the Light 2019
7.1 of 40

Blinded by the Light

HD 6.90 118 min
1987. Sixteen year old Pakistani-British Javed Khan, who has just started sixth form college as what he sees as his only "way out", hates most everything about his life in Luton to where his parents long ago emigrated from Pakistan for a better life, the hills above the highway where he and his longtime best friend, Caucasian Matt, have spent much time in it representing life away from town. He hates how Thatcherism has decimated the livelihood of the working class, to which his family belongs. He hates how his traditional father regulates everything in his life, including which classes he takes, how he spends his social time, that he is to hand over any money he earns for the family as a collective - more so now for his oldest "sister" (really his cousin) Yasmeen's upcoming lavish wedding - that he will arrange for a wife for him when the time comes, and that everything is in the goal of him working in a white collar "suit wearing" profession in Luton when he reaches adulthood. He hates the overt racism - some of it anti-immigrant in general, but much of it anti-Muslim or anti-Pakistani directed - in town, not all of it hurled solely from skinheads. He hates how his father and his other Pakistani friends and relatives turn their heads to that racism to maintain a sense of decorum in not wanting to rock the boat. And he hates that his father increases even more pressure on the family as a whole to pick up the slack when he, after sixteen years, is laid off from his automotive factory assembly line job. Javed's one sanctuary is writing poetry - "crap" in his own estimation - about how he feels about his life in general. Javed's life takes slight turns when his English teacher Miss Clay - English which his father doesn't even know is one of his courses - encourages him to continue writing as being "his" outlet to express himself, crap or not, and when one of his few other South Asian classmates, Roops, introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteen, considered largely by his peers the music of their parents. Javed feels Springsteen is talking directly to him in in the lyrics relating to his own life. While Matt always vows to find him a girlfriend, Javed, in his increasing confidence through Springsteen, gets up the nerve to approach classmate Eliza, a political activist who he has longed for from afar upon first sight. The question then becomes if Javed, who is beginning to find his own voice in that connection to Springsteen, can reconcile this newfound "freedom" against the other aspects of his life, especially the control wielded by his father.


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