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Speak Like A Child

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By the side of a road somewhere in the North of England, Sammy stands and waits for the arrival of childhood friends Billy and Ruby. It is twenty years since they all first met, when Sammy was taken by social workers to join an isolated children's home on the dramatic Northumbrian coast. As Sammy gets into Billy and Ruby's car it is immediately clear that, despite the fact that Ruby is recently pregnant, there is violent tension between them and that there is a psychological significance to the mysterious journey that Billy is taking them on.

As the journey progresses, we travel back to the past of their childhood when Sammy, shy and vulnerable and unable to read, joins the home. Billy, confident and charismatic, befriends and guides him through the trials of life in the home and protects him from the violent attentions of the resident bully, Bernie. As Sammy grows in confidence, Billy encourages a romantic attachment with his old girlfriend, the flame-haired Ruby. Using his emotional power over his friends, Billy establishes a ménage a trois that sets them apart from other children in the home. This power is threatened when, in a dramatic incident, Billy tries to defend Sammy from Bernie and gets savagely beaten. The resulting act of revenge is one which will inextricably bind the three friends through the intervening years until the pressure of the past and present combine to force an inevitable resolution.


Type of film
Running Time
90 mins
John Akomfrah
Ben Gibson, David Thompson
Director of Photography
Jonathon Collinson
Principal Cast
Cal Macaninch, Rachel Fielding and Richard Mylan
Executive Production Executive
Christopher Collins
Screen Writer
Dann Padmore


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Last updated 26th November 2005

Production Company

Leda Serene Ltd
31 Holberton Gardens
London NW10 6AY
Tel: 020 8969 7094
Fax: 020 8225 8450


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London W1P 1PL
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