“It’s one of the most inventively soul-shattering films of the year, TV and otherwise”- Culture Whisper
On 29 July 2005 in Huyton, Merseyside, Anthony Walker was murdered in a vicious racist attack. He was just 18 years old.
A basketball lover, a brother, a devout Christian, a son and a friend, Anthony was just a regular Liverpool teenager with dreams of working in civil rights and a lifetime of potential ahead of him.
Produced for BBC One by LA Productions and exclusively premiering in New Zealand this October 26, 2020 on Acorn TV, Anthony (1x90’) is the story of the life he should have lived.
Skilfully plotted by one of UK’s most powerful screenwriters Jimmy McGovern (Hillsborough, The Street, Cracker), this heartbreaking and moving drama chronicles an imagined life in reverse, giving hope and optimism to a future that was so brutally taken away.
Using unconventional storytelling and reverse chronology, the film begins with a 25-year-old Anthony married to his high school sweetheart and follows seven years of imagined experiences, disappointments and triumphs leading viewers to the night of this horrific crime.
“BBC Anthony writer Jimmy McGovern reduces nation to tears after 'perfect and powerful' drama” - Liverpool Echo
Arriving on screens across Aotearoa at a prescient time, the film was created at the request of and in partnership with Gee Walker, Anthony’s mother, a close friend of McGovern’s who has acted as the writer’s grief consultant for several years following her loss.
Masterfully crafted it infuses intense joy into the milestones of Anthony’s life while avoiding the temptation to make him a martyr, instead using all of the precious 90 minutes to paint a picture of a life that could have blossomed – trials, tribulations and all.
Embracing the rawness of the human experience, it shows a young man with strong work ethic and wholesome family values whilst also portraying Anthony’s ability to cause hurt to the people in his life with his naivety and strong will.
Anthony strikes an affecting balance of heartbreak and hope so much so that it becomes hard not to feel a part of the Walker family’s grief, creating an urgency in the viewer to hold those dearest to them close.
“A visceral scene of what it means to be a parent…both illuminating and devastating” – The High Low
Staged in the realm of imagination and grounded in the harshness of reality Anthony has been praised for its outstanding ability to move viewers with each moment more touching than the last.
Anthony arrives in New Zealand on October 26, 2020, only on Acorn TV.
“Every scene of happiness hollows out your heart a little more – it is an incredibly evocative replication of the grief bereavement brings.” – The Guardian
Starring: Toheeb Jimoh (The Feed, Ted Lasso) Rakie Ayola (Shetland) Julia Brown (World on Fire) Bobby Schofield (Knightfall)
Writer: Jimmy McGovern (Cracker, The Street)
Director: Terry McDonough (Better Call Saul)
Producers: Colin McKeown (Broken, Care, Reg) and Donna Molloy (Broken, Care, Reg)
Further praise for Anthony:
"Vital viewing" – Stylist
“Anthony on BBC One merged fact and fiction to create a powerful story about loss” - Digital Spy
“Generated an outpouring of emotion on social media” - Radio Times
“It is a must-see. You can't look away”- Bleeding Cool
“Anthony is unique TV, more a dream than a drama”- GQ
“He manages to balance bleak tragedy and pockets of humour with beautiful delicacy”- Culture Whisper