London River focuses its narrative in 2005, right after the massive terrorist attacks happened in London. The story that is weaved through this film focuses on two individuals – Elizabeth (Brenda Blethyn) and Ousmane (Sotigui Kouyate, in eir last role). Both individuals are on the hunt for their children. While Elizabeth is the typical British inhabitant, Ousmane has come over from France to find any information about what has happened to eir son. Elizabeth is attempting to find eir daughter, all while burning with hatred for those individuals responsible for this act. Elizabeth’s emotions are thrown in a tailspin when ey realizes that Elizabeth and these terrorists share a common faith. Ousmane has to provide Elizabeth with some sort of understanding; the amount of pathos that is present in this film is considerable.
I believe that London River, while a fictional drama, would have much traction as a film shown in secondary schools. The message of tolerance and love for humanity is a solid one, while the title itself is firmly based in world (and European) history. Intimate discussions about the Islamic faith, extremists and how both groups deal with current issues, are provided. London River also shows the human component of terrorist attacks; by the end of the film, viewers will understand this human component. London River is one of the best films that Cinema Libre has released, and I believe it is due to the versatility of this title.
Make sure to check Cinema Libre’s website; their 2012 schedule seems to be hit after hit. You can purchase their titles from a number of online retailers, and reasonably well-stocked brick and mortar stores.
London River (DVD) / 2012 Cinema Libre / 88 Minutes / http://www.cinemalibre.com