Writer/Director: BALBEER BAHI
I heard a horrendous story from a neighbour just a few days ago: a local thug cut off the thumb of a 14-year-old boy, already exploited as a drug mule. In London? In June 2020??
Years ago something even more horrendous happened nearby: A 5-year-old was caught in the cross-fire between two rival street gangs. Magnified as the news is if the victim is especially young or old, we were all in shock for the child and the family.
Bringing together characters I have known and elements of stories that are folklore in London, I wrote Limbo Inna London as an attempt to express our collective horror.
I tried to emphasise: The ‘stupid kids’ who do this damage cannot possibly be aware of the impact of their actions on the victims and their families. Or how carrying the burden of their guilt will feel in their unpredictable futures.
The script would probably have been shelved: Filmmaking is a tough gig for everyone if you don’t come from the right side of the tracks. Except my daughter read the script, connected with it spectacularly from her youthful perspective, and insisting it was really relevant, that I had to make it.
Fellow artists who read the script, equally exasperated with these stories of loss and pain within our community, generously offered to help. As so often we have done in theatre, a new transitory community formed, to participate in the telling of a story common to us all.
Unable to reverse the tide as individuals, we instead stood together, locked arms, and shouted back at the storm that ravages our home.
THE CAST, THE CREW;the designer FRANCK TOTO; storyboard artist GRAHAM HILL; editors ROBERTO MINELLI and LEWIS WARDELL; my friends AMELIE, MATHIS & MAELY, PHIL & EMMA, SUSAN & TOMMY, CHRISTOPHER & KATE, CHRISTIAN & MEDJET, who let us use their homes to film in; JENNY & CHRIS of the ICHIBAN RESTAURANT, BRIXTON who fed us with the best food imaginable; the legendary trumpet player JIM DVORAK, the guitarist’s guitarist MARK HEWINS; the singer LAYLA SMITH; the sound engineer ADAM HARE; MR VIPIN PATEL and VISHAL at The Cavendish Post Office, in which they let us film: All these individuals and more, gave their time, skills, resources and energy either completely free or at minimal, knock-down rates. While some do reside outside, they all displayed the true London spirit.