Ali & Ava, the latest feature from brilliant British filmmaker Clio Barnard, is set in the ethnically diverse working class neighborhood of Bradford, England, where recently widowed Ava works as a kindergarten teacher’s assistant, beloved by the kids and underappreciated by her grown son whose family she is supporting.
The story kicks off as one suddenly rainy day, Ali, a well-meaning British-Pakistani man who regularly picks up a child from the school where Ava works, offers the teacher a dry ride home. On the way, the two quickly discover their mutual love for music and on that note become fast friends. Over the next weeks and in spite of the strong and threatening objections of Ava’s skinhead son, Ali and Ava become regular companions.
However, their intimate friendship and the joy it brings them are seriously challenged not only by the ethnic prejudices of both of their families, but by the unsettling emotional conflict raised in both of them by the presence of Ali’s estranged wife. Continue reading on CINEMA CITIZEN