Young Hearts Run Free

Written and directed by Andy Mark Simpson

Reviewed by Michelle McKay

This is a delightful romantic movie set against the backdrop of a miners strike, but ostensibly it explores the concept of loyalty. The directorial debut of Andy Mark Simpson, it was made on a microbudget and is based in his native Northumbria in 1974, with a predominantly geordie cast comprising established actors, first-timers, and extras including people he went to school with.

The lead character "Mark" sympathetically played by Andy Black, is artistically talented and yearns to go to a prestigious art college in London, but has put his plans on the back burner since his father died, to stay with his mother. Meanwhile he falls for southerner "Sue" (played by Kate Middleton lookalike Jennifer Dryden) who is staying in the village with her aunty. All the factors in his life converge when he decides to make a concerted effort to save up for art college; the movie demonstrates how personal choices can affect a whole community, through themes of friendship, betrayal, love, lust, conflicting loyalties, and smalltown life.

Although only on limited release at the moment, Young Hearts Run Free is being shown throughout the UK, and is well worth catching if you can: see website below for screening details.

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