Filmmaker Eelyn Lee spent an academic year in a pupil referral unit [PRU] in Hackney, east London where she facilitated workshops to generate the creative content for this unique 52' documentary. At key stages of the process she invited specialists to run workshops in performance poetry, hip hop theatre, music production and capoeira. In a Reality TV world these workshops would have provided the constructed reality that the crew filmed but instead Eelyn featured the work the contributors created in the form of idents and music videos that carry the multi-layered narrative of the film.
As a way of combatting the initial resistance she encountered at the PRU Eelyn introduced the notion of two fictional characters as a device for telling the contributors' stories. The students invented Bradley and Chantel, animated characters with troubled backstories who appear throughout the film.
"... Young people love to play around with their identities. Bradley and Chantel embody the complex issues that many of the young contributors of the film are faced with. They became such an integral part of the project they were even discussed regularly at staff meetings as though they were real students ..." Eelyn Lee, Director
Beneath the Hood is a sophisticated piece of filmmaking which provides a rare insight to a group of young people who are permanently excluded from mainstream school.
Screened in London at BFI & Curzon Soho / Broadcast on the Community Channel over a two year period / DVD distribution worldwide / Freely available to PRU's in UK during 2004/5
Watch the trailer here: vimeo.com/22952262
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