Rocks presents a British teen with a big problem

Bukky Bakray, Kosar Ali, and D'angelou Osei Kissiedu in Rocks

Rocks is Shola ‘Rocks’ Omotoso, an inner city teen in London. She’s played beautifully by Bukky Bakray. Her mom disappears, leaving her with her younger brother Emmanuel (D’angelou Osei Kissiedu), a bit of cash, and a promise to return. You can see this moving film on Netflix.

Directed by Sarah Gavron, Rocks is a tribute to the power of friends and the responsibilities of love and family.

Bukky Bakray, Kosar Ali, Tawheda Begum, Afi Okaidja, and Ruby Stokes in Rocks

At first things are all right. Rocks has a little money and she gets Emmanuel and herself to school. She hangs around with her friends. But when she runs out of money the bad choices start. Her grandmother is in Lagos and not inclined to help. The electricity is cut off. The neighbors call ‘the Social.’ People from the school come looking for her. She runs from the apartment.

Her friend Sumaya (Kosar Ali) lets her and Emmanuel stay at her place one night, although the house is crammed with family for a wedding.

She steals some money from a sketchy friend and spends a night in a hotel with Emmanuel. Later she spends a night with her friend Agnes (Ruby Stokes). Agnes calls for help and the foster care system comes and takes Rocks and Emmanuel. He is sent to a home in Hastings, she is sent to a home close to her current school.

Even though Agnes got the siblings separated, she and all Rocks’ friends stick by her. They do something bold and amazing to support her. A combination of help from her friends and the British social services system kept the two siblings from falling through the cracks completely as they might have done in another country.

With outstanding, natural performances from the cast, including the youngster playing Emmanuel, the film was moving and touching. The fear, anger, sadness, and worry that affected both Rocks and her brother were well acted.

So many kids, so many families, live one paycheck from disaster. So many people need help. This is one particular story in an ocean of similar stories, but the particulars will make you care.

Rocks poster

Here’s a look at the trailer.

Are you interested in this poignant story? If you watch it, please share your thoughts.

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