Sus (4 stars)


(15) 96min

On the eve of Margaret Thatcher’s 1979 landslide election victory a black man (Clint Dyer) is picked up off the streets of Brixton under the notorious suspicion law and interrogated by two white police officers (Ralph Brown and Rafe Spall). Ostensibly questioning the bewildered Delroy about a local murder, detectives Karn and Wilby actually indulge themselves in a spot of racial abuse, emboldened by the expectation of a Tory return to power and an end to wishy-washy civil liberties.

Directed by first-timer Robert Heath from a script by Barrie The Long Good Friday Keeffe, it’s grim, gritty, clever, political and reminiscent of the work of the late greats Alan Clarke and Harold Pinter. It’s a tad stagey, but Keeffe’s sharp script, Heath’s unshowy direction and top-notch performances, particularly from Brown (who looks like Sean Connery in the not dissimilar film The Offence), keep things compelling. And with the Tories back in No 10, it is, unfortunately and no doubt not coincidentally, very timely.