All along, we see her determination to break this vicious circle, become someone good, and make this place better for herself and generations to come. However, the situation in this scheme is so bad it’s like the filmmakers knew beforehand that some of the people involved in the making of their documentary would somehow fall into even worse situations. It could be seen as cliché, but for those living it, it is definitely not, even though they are painfully aware of this, and one has to appreciate this fact. While it might seem hard to know who to blame for their situations, Scheme Birds makes it pretty clear: politicians, society at large, and individual idiocy in making certain choices.
“…a poetic, raw project…”
The latter is illustrated in comical or dramatic scenes throughout the film with people making questionable to dangerous decisions. So it’s no wonder this movie is such a weird piece to watch where things unfold with a feeling of a car crash waiting to happen. Besides, there’s never a dull moment with the lively bunch, probably akin to watching reality TV, when even if you strongly disagree with everything you see, you cannot stop watching. Consequently, there’s something very visceral about this, combined with the “no filter” honesty of the participants, that makes Scheme Birds look like a British kitchen sink movie. It all feels very theatrical with the voice-over narration, how it is filmed, and how it often lets actions speak for themselves. It’s also nice that the documentary puts things in perspective, although we never really leave the subjects.
Scheme Birds is a poetic, raw project, at times poignantly depressing, and, at others, inspiring and even fun as we are privy to people letting loose and cracking jokes in a typical coming-of-age movie fashion. In the end, we see Gemma and other scheme birds growing up in front of us as a symbol of a resilient youth feeling let down and out, while simultaneously embodying the universal feeling felt by many everywhere.
"…an area with lots of social housing towers and estates, where predominantly working-class families struggle to stay afloat."