Reviewed by Lorne Nudel

In this wrenching tale of cruelty, injustice and escape, a young mother struggles to cope with the relentless and escalating bullying of her disabled teenage daughter and herself by neighborhood kids.

Beginning with a shock, This is Vanity rewinds, taking us through a postmortem of a mother’s exasperation with the ineffectual local constabulary and the ensuing isolation and desperation that leads to its terrible conclusion.

Produced with private and crowd-sourced funding on Indiegogo, the film has won 2 awards; Best Drama at the Magnolia Film Festival in the US, and the Audience Award at the Bermuda International Film Festival. It has also been selected at 6 international film festivals.

“The film is based on a true story that I read on the BBC news website. As soon as I completed the article I knew that this is what I had been looking for in a story and an idea in a way to present it. I started writing it with my friend and collaborator, Alex Craig, who I have made several music videos for, under his music alias ‘Casually Sunshine’.

– Oliver Goodrum

Poverty shackles the victims to their fate and the spartan lodgings of the disused RAF base in Uxbridge, London, UK, where it was shot in 2012, make an ideal setting for inhabitants who have few choices. It’s within this bleak and claustrophobic context that a priest’s words of sacrifice offer the young mother what she sees as her only way out.

While it is easy to blame the harsh cruelty of children, the adults here are just as guilty of indifference to the persecution of the innocent.

All the players in this tragic story suffer the utter futility of their actions and circumstances. The mother, the kind officer, the council housing manager, and the priest, are all victims to the vanity of their efforts. Even the hateful, miscreant kids are products of their empty, aimless, boring lives. Knowing how this story will end from the very first, the viewer too is made powerless to halt the inevitable.

The tale is not an easy one, due not only to the excellent performances and adroit direction, but for the convincing depiction of events that we know are all too common. Few of us have not, at one time or another, been the victim, tormentor or witness to a cowardly act of cruelty. It strikes at our fear that this story is one that could touch someone we love. The film is certain to leave a lasting tremor.

This is the 1st film in a trilogy. Subsequent films are to be released at intervals of one month. The next film, This is Iniquity, has its trailer at the end of This Is Vanity.