Lovers Rock may be the Dazed and Confused of early-’80s Afro-Caribbean British subculture, but I wouldn’t really know. To an outsider, the film doesn’t have much impact.
The one-hour film is part of a BBC-developed five-part series on the lives of West Indians in Britain directed by the London-born filmmaker Steve McQueen, whose parents are Caribbean immigrants to Britain. McQueen has made four previous films about extreme experience, ranging from the heist thriller Widows (2018) to his Oscar-winning historical journey 12 Years a Slave (2013), from the harrowing story of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands Hunger (2008) to the almost equally grueling inquiry into sex addiction, Shame (2011). He has now achieved sufficient stature that he can turn away from obviously dramatic or even melodramatic story structures and instead reach back into memory and make the cinematic equivalent of an autobiographically tinged first novel.
Lovers Rock is the opening-night