17 June: Helen Walsh

helen walsh

The celebrated author (Brass, Once upon a Time in England, Go to Sleep and The Lemon Grove) has made her directorial debut with The Violators, a gritty coming of age drama about a young woman’s attempts to navigate life in a brutal housing estate with the looming threat of dangerous men lurking around every corner. A bruising look at the soft insides of a girl who has had to wear her toughness like armour in order to survive – and the predatory forces that try to prise open her hardened exterior in order to exploit it, The Violators is a striking first film.

The Warrington-born writer told the BFI’s Nicki Baughan that her work often focuses on women was a deliberate response. “Not being able to find the female characters in fiction, or film for that matter, [my writing] was a reaction. It was a rage.”

In an interview with We Are Colony, Helen described herself as “a huge fan of Jacques Audiard – his films are sexy, sensual experiences. I love the type of gutsy, vulnerable and fraught masculinity he evokes from his leads: Romain Duris, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tahar Rahim.” With The Violators, she takes those ideals and puts them in a feminine context – her heroine Shelly (the brilliant Lauren McQueen) is as sensual, gutsy, vulnerable and fraught as any of Audiard’s men. Read the rest of We Are Colony’s interview here!

The Violators quad

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