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Directed by Garry Sykes and premiered earlier this month at the London Independent Film Festival, Drunken Butterflies is something between a mockumentary and a teen reality show. Set in working class Newcastle Upon Tyne´s Byker, the film focuses on the life of six teenager girls, their intricate relationships and a life changing weekend made of partying and fighting, topped by a generous sprinkling of bullying, envy and resentment.
Drunken Butterflies opens with the aftermath of a drinks and drugs fuelled Friday night where hardly anyone remembers what happened the night before, except for when Chloe (Leanne Rutter) disappeared for an hour with the ´magic trick guy´ Chris (Michael Grist) and cheated on her boyfriend Liam (Dean Bone).
Unfortunately, the betrayed man in question happens to be the brother of scary Tracy Bell (Yasmine Ati), the town´s queen bee. Tracy takes the event very personally, and assisted by her faithful wing girls Sarah (Lucy-Jeanne Kelly) and Becca (Kate Knight), instigates a cat fight in the middle of the street against Chloe and her faithful friends, two outcasts that the adulterine had recently ditched for Tracy, but who are surprisingly still there to fight her corner.
The film´s linear narrative is often broken up by documentary style interviews about bully Tracy Bell and her impact on local teenagers.
Featuring excessive make up, existential conversations about vajazzles, piercings and outfits, this is an interesting and at the same time very depressing outlook on disillusioned working class girls and their struggle to cope with life hardships and shifting friendships. So realistic it’s scary.