Fond Kiss (15)
Directed by Ken Loach, Written by Paul Laverty
Screening at FACT from 1st-14th October 2004
Over a period of almost forty years Ken Loach has created film after
film for which the word 'gritty' was surely invented. He has developed
a knack of crafting working class characters with sensitivity and charm
- from Kes (1969) all the way up to Bread and Roses
(2000) and beyond. If Ae Fond Kiss had been the debut of a promising new
director it could be excused, but coming from Loach it is a bitter disappointment.
Casim (Atta Yaqub) is a young Glaswegian Muslim who exists somewhere
between the traditions of his family and the Scottish DJ-ing circuit.
By chance he meets very lapsed Catholic Roisin (Eva Birthistle) and they
begin a poorly-developed relationship. Though their pairing seems anything
but 'fond' it forms the crux of Casim's dilemma - does he follow his heritage
and marry the cousin he has never met or does he follow his instinct and
live in sin with his sister's music teacher? More to the point, do we
This film may take its name from the first line of a Robert Burns poem
but it borrows none of its passion. The stereotyped, one-dimensional characters
could have stepped straight out of a soap - indeed if a programme such
as Family Affairs 'tackled' religious and racial intolerance
the result would probably be something like this. Though it feels bizarre
to say this about a Ken Loach picture, Ae Fond Kiss is one to miss.