Streatham MP Chuka Umunna is hoping to screen a film exposing how young people are ‘groomed’ into gang life at the House of Commons, as he believes it is crucial for the leaders of each political party to understand the struggles faced by today’s youth.
The gritty 30 minute film, entitled Tiny (which takes its title from the nickname given to the youngest members of the gang), follows the story of 13-year-old Leon, who is groomed by local gang leader Sniper. It also features the killing of 15-year-old Zac Olumegbon who was stabbed to death in 2010 by members of south London’s notorious GAS gang as part of a revenge attack.
Tiny is a collaboration between family charity, St Michael’s Fellowship, and film-makers Latimer Creative Media. The characters, storyline and script have been created by 50 young people who use St Michael’s Fellowship’s outreach services in Lambeth, south London.
Umunna is not only a patron of St Michael’s Fellowship, but is also the first MP of the constituency to have grown up in Streatham, so the subject matter of the film is particularly important for him.
Speaking at the premiere for the film in Brixton last week, he said:
Zac Olumegbon was one of my constituents and we have got an issue here that has been acutely affecting our borough of Lambeth. When you look at all the charts, we always come number one, so this is a major issue affecting a minority, but a substantial minority, of young people.
God knows people in Westminster need to learn about this issue. With the permission of Latimer, I’d like to put on an official viewing of this film in Westminster and I will insist that all the party leaders turn up. Then we can ask them what are they going to do about it, because the more people that see this the better.
Although Tiny isn’t the first drama to be based on gang life in London, with Umunna’s support it definitely looks like this could be the film that makes our MPs take notice.