If the Streets Were on Fire review – hope on show as BikeStormz riders fight knife crime | Film – Gündem Haberleri

If the Streets Were on Fire review – hope on show as BikeStormz riders fight knife crime | Film

Made over several years and much of it filmed, by necessity, with handheld cameras, this impassioned documentary is about BikeStormz, the collective bicycle rides organised at first as protest against knife violence. The prime mover is activist Mac Ferrari-Guy who understood from his own experience how devastating gang violence was to his community in London.

At the same time, BikeStormz’s aim was also to provide kids, gang members and potential gang members with a constructive, communal activity that everyone could take part in, especially since the bike rides were at first through the City of London, the one part of the metropolis no gangs had dibs on. Before long, the riders started popping wheelies and showing off acrobatic skills – which looked awesome but unfortunately had local residents and the police up in arms over the safety of other road users and pedestrians.

As a result, some of the most interesting and dramatically compelling scenes in the film show Ferrari-Guy trying to work out deals with police community liaison officers, sometimes aided by local politicians striving to help the different sides understand each other’s needs. These micro-collisions in the civil arena are almost reminiscent of documentaries by Fred Wiseman, except this movie is much shorter than Wiseman’s films, perhaps for the best. An interesting solution seems to have been found, judging by the film’s final sequence.

Meanwhile, much screen time is also devoted to Miles C, one of the riders and eventually an organiser along with Mac; he is seen rapping about his love of guns, knives and grudges when he was 13 but now wants nothing more to do with that life, especially as he has his own kids and has lost too many friends. It’s truly touching to watch him trying to teach his own son how to ride a bike. Given the reasons why BikeStormz started – subtitles reveal chilling statistics about the rise in knife crime – the film offers some hope that at least some lives touched by Mac and Miles’ activism have more hope now.

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If the Streets Were on Fire is released on 18 September in UK cinemas.

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