Featuring a stunning performance by Anthony Borrows as the seven year old title character through whose eyes the drama takes place, Liam hones in on an occasionally happy family in Liverpool during the 1930's. The head of household makes a decent living in the local steel mills, but when bad times force the closing of the plant, Dad is compelled to line up with his fellows every morning hoping desperately to get day work. The family faces near starvation, while Liam is repeatedly browbeaten in his Catholic school by the priest and his teacher with fires of hell. Given the hardships faced by the families in the neighbourhood, it becomes almost inevitable that some would fall under the influence of local extremist groups. As the family fortunes spiral downward, Liam's dad eventually joins the Union of British Fascists, leading him on a private war against the local Jews. It would be easy to look at the first few frames of Liam, the Liverpudlian row houses, the depressing furnishings inside the home of a family of five being supported precariously by one breadwinner, and think, "Oh, another one of those biographical sketches of the director's childhood seen through the eyes of a little Tyke". You wouldn't be entirely wrong. Because Liam does indeed draw on the scripter Jimmy McGovern's early life experience. But the film illustrates how trying economic conditions can lead to the rise of extremist movements, in this case fascism-and fascism not where you expected in, say France, whose local people collaborated all too often with Nazi occupation, or Poland where Jews were executed by local fascist gangs when they returned home after the war was over. We are talking England, the European land that took in 10.000 Jewish children while Nazism was rising on the Continent.

Stephen Frears

Jimmy Mcgovern

Andrew Dunn B.S.C.

Kristina Hetherington

BBC Films

Anne Reid
Anthony Borrows
Claire Hackett
David Hart
Ian Hart
Julia Deakin
Megan Burns
Russell Dıxon

John Murphy

Marcello Mastroianni Award
OCIC Award Venice

7th Festival on Wheels