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Ray & Liz Ray & Liz

Richard Billingham / United Kingdom / 2018 / 108 min / English

Renowned British photographer and visual artist Richard Billingham makes his feature-film debut with this intricate portrayal of a family in their council flat outside Birmingham, inspired in part by his own memories.

festivals, awards Locarno 2018 (Special Mention Jury Prize), Sevilla (Grand Jury Award), Thessaloniki 2018 (Best Film), Toronto 2018


On the outskirts of Birmingham and the margins of Thatcher-era society, the Billingham family perform extreme rituals and break social taboos as they muddle through a life decided by factors beyond their control. Billingham revisits the figures of his earlier photographs — his alcoholic father Ray; his obese, tattooed mother Liz; and his younger brother Jason — with a series of everyday rituals that defy chronology, telling a universal story of everyday conflicts, loneliness, love and loss inspired by the artist's own teenage memories and shot on stunning 16mm.

“I wrote a screenplay over a period of five or six years. Its basic story had been in my head for years before then. I talked a lot with Jason about his memories of neglect. And I used the photographs, paper records, and tapes as aide-memoires. I remember sitting in a train when I wrote Uncle Lol’s story, mapping out gestures, body language and even the way each person sits. When I write scenes, I focus on what things look like. And then I cut and paste them into an order and add dialogue.” (Richard Billingham)

Richard Billingham
Born in 1970 in Great Britain. An acclaimed English photographer, visual artist and filmmaker, and recipient of numerous prizes for his photographic achievements. His work has been exhibited at the Tate, the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum among others. Ray & Liz is his first fictional feature.

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