One Mile Away
UK | 2013 | 91 min
This authored documentary produced by Rare Day and directed by award-winning filmmaker Penny Woolcock charts the attempts by two warring gangs in inner city Birmingham, the Burger Bar Boys (B21) and the Johnson Crew (B6), to bring peace to their neighbourhoods.
It follows Penny Woolcock’s Hip Hop musical 1 Day which depicted these postcode wars. One Mile Away was initiated by Shabba, a young man affiliated to the Johnson side who met Penny during her research for 1 Day. He saw her as neutral and as someone who had built trust on both sides. Penny agreed to get involved and introduced Shabba to Dylan Duffus – the lead actor in 1 Day and affiliated to the Burger side. The film follows their painstaking journey over two years to recruit more supporters from both sides. Along the way, they get advice from Jonathan Powell, who oversaw the Good Friday Agreement, and the riots erupt in Birmingham, with surprising consequences.
With support from BRITDOC, and funded by Channel 4 and Creative England, One Mile Away shows how film and the determination of ordinary people can transform entrenched social problems, whilst also being a compelling, ground-breaking watch.
DIR Penny Woolcock
CREW Dylan Duffus (D-Boy), Matthias Thompson (Shabba), Simeon Moore (Zimbo), Joel Eccleston (YT), James Purnell, Penny Woolcock, Jonathan Powell