KiDULTHOOD, AdULTHOOD and BrOTHERHOOD have all had an impact on the way that multiculturalism is portrayed in British cinema, carving out its own path in order to portray the struggles of growing up in urban areas.
Noel Clarke’s iconic ‘Sam Peel’ may be an unusual protagonist to some, however for many, he proved to be an influential character for which a forgotten generation could identify with as they matured together over the ten year span of ThE HOOD TRILOGY.
To celebrate the release of BrOTHERHOOD on Blu-ray and DVD December 26, we take a look at Sam Peel’s journey through the trilogy, and exactly how the he has played a key role in representing urban youth culture in an important, real and reflective way.
We first see Sam in KiDULTHOOD, a young troubled antagonist, who has unfortunately become a Ladbroke Grove bully. When Trife and his friends come looking for revenge after Sam steals his Gameboy, Trife knocks Sam’s mum over after beating him up in his own home. We follow Sam as he faces moral struggles between sticking up for his family and trying to attain the respect he desires, and although the film ends with an accidental fatality, it is integral to the narrative that Sam must pay the price for what he did.
KiDULTHOOD and the character of Sam Peel have been criticised for ‘glamorising’ violence, but others argue that the film is a cautionary tale and stands to help teens who, in reality face the same challenges, realise what will happen if they make poor choices, and in turn, helps a wider audience understand the bigger issues that develop in urban London.
Six years on in AdULTHOOD, audiences find Sam leaving prison as a seemingly reformed man. However, with guilt still heavy on his shoulders and the knowledge that people are out to get him, Sam is conflicted over whether to return to his old life to find and stop who’s after him at any cost, or continue on the mature path he aimed for in prison.
Young, proud and still teetering on naivety, Sam seeks out who wants him dead and runs in to Jay, the best friend of Trife.
Sam is then faced with the ultimate choice, quickly realising that Jay is on the same path as he was six years ago, and decides instead to move forward. Following Sam in AdULTHOOD not only showcases a realistic tale of redemption, but also teaches audiences to not make the same mistake twice.
Sam returns two years later, with a family and a hardworking attitude. But after his family are threatened by a mob wanting to settle an old score, it soon becomes clear that his old street smarts are not enough.
With past demons close at his heels, Sam is forced to delve back into the criminal underworld and rely on the help of past acquaintances, whilst fearing that the peaceful life that he fought for will always seem out of reach.
Though he longs to leave his past behind, Sam must accept that violence has defined who he is, and in order to defeat his enemies, he must also conquer the part of himself that challenges him the most.
Sam’s progression to the man at the end of BrOTHERHOOD brings awareness that there can be ways out of the stereotypes that people are sometimes born into.
BrOTHERHOOD COMES TO BLU-RAY AND DVD DECEMBER 26 – PRE-ORDER FROM AMAZON UK
Image: Rob Baker Ashton