Believe Me

Director: Angela Pope
Screenwriters: Angela Pope

Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival


Recently, the United Kingdom has seen an explosion of superb social dramas, and Angela Pope’s provocative and moving Believe Me is among the best of the crop. It seems that Oliver (Sam Bould, achingly vulnerable in his portrayal) is just another little boy who rides his bike on the Commons when he shouldn’t and lies occasionally to get himself out of trouble. One night he shows up at his father’s house, breathless and with a bad cut over his eye. His father, Martyn, who is gay and lives with his lover, Tom, takes him to the hospital and then reluctantly returns him to his mother, Hannah, and her new boyfriend, Frank. Shortly after, Oliver badly hurts his hand and tells his father that he accidentally shut it in a car door. Martyn becomes suspicious about these injuries but finds that his investigations and subsequent allegations are hindered by the social realities of his homosexuality, legal bureaucracy, and Hannah’s heart-
breaking denial.

Intense and emotional, Believe Me pinpoints the agonizing complexities of child abuse; domestic violence originates from many sources and occupies all social strata. It also highlights the prejudices that must be overcome before justice can prevail and a child’s voice be heard.

— Christian Gaines

Screening Details

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