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BFF18 Pin Cushion

MA15+ 85 MIN
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For her first feature, Pin Cushion, the British director Deborah Haywood digs into her own teenage memories and unearths something eccentric, peculiar and utterly original.

At the centre is a relationship of cloying co-dependency as Iona (Lily Newmark, Solo: A Star Wars Story), a pale-faced teenager, and her hunchbacked mother, Lyn (Joanna Scanlan, Getting On, The Thick of It), contentedly share meals, pet names and even a bed. Recently arrived in a small Midlands town, the two are desperate to make friends. But Lyn, mentally slow and physically burdened, invites only the scorn of her neighbours, while Iona, geeky and ginger-haired, is a too-tempting target for the über-mean girls at her new high school. Brutally exploiting her social and sexual naïveté, they enact a campaign of escalating humiliations.

Holding tight to both as they struggle to fit into a community that patently doesn’t want them, director Deborah Haywood — who shot the film in her hometown and describes it as “emotionally biographical” — fashions a transcendent portrait of mental illness and bullying. Deliberately exaggerated, she shows how slights are magnified when you’re young or otherwise vulnerable.

Movie Information

Release date

Tuesday 23rd October


85 min




Film Festival