'Against the Law', a new genre-stretching film written by Brian Fillis, has premiered on the BBC to much critical acclaim.
'Against the Law' is a film that defies the usual categories. Recently premiered as part of BBC's 'Gay Britannia' season, it combines drama with documentary that challenges both the format of the currently oh-so-fashionable biopic and the traditional documentary.
A project that emerged out of the BBC's Documentary Unit (rather than drama commissioning), writer Brian Fillis was invited to dramatise the story of journalist Peter Wildeblood, whose treatment under the homophobic laws of the UK in the 1950s indirectly led to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain. Though, it must be said, that didn't actually happen until 1967.
Directed by vaunted documentary director Fergus O'Brien, the feature-length film intersperses the drama with "talking head" testimonies by gay men who survived the oppressive British climate of the 1950s. Actors in the dramatised story include Daniel Mays, Charlie Creed-Miles, Mark Gatiss and other faces familiar to TV viewers.
"Work like this doesn't come along every day. Against the Law stands as a brilliant, important, must-see piece." - The Guardian
Fear not if you don't have access to BBC: it's already scheduled to be screened at many film festivals around the world and the invitations just keep coming...
Congratulations to Brian, Fergus and all those who made this unique film testifying to an elided history happen.