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  • Rob

ON THIS DAY, 1999...

'Human Traffic' was released on 4th June 1999. It is a British independent film directed and written by Justin Kerrigan. It is a coming-of-age comedy-drama that delves into the lives of a group of friends in Cardiff, Wales, during a drug-fueled weekend.


The film has gained a cult following for its authentic portrayal of youth culture in the 1990s, particularly the rave scene. The story revolves around five friends in their early twenties:


- Jip (John Simm): The protagonist who is struggling with anxiety and sexual performance issues.

- Lulu (Lorraine Pilkington): Jip's best friend who works in a record store and has a complicated relationship with her boss.

- Koop (Shaun Parkes): An aspiring DJ who is jealous and insecure about his girlfriend, Nina.

- Nina (Nicola Reynolds): Koop's girlfriend, who is tired of his possessiveness and is a massive pain in the ass.

- Moff (Danny Dyer): The group's joker and drug dealer, who lives with his parents and frequently uses recreational drugs.


The film captures their experiences and interactions as they navigate through a weekend of partying, exploring themes of friendship, identity, and the highs and lows of their hedonistic lifestyle.


'Human Traffic' is notable for its energetic and stylized presentation, which includes:


- Fourth Wall Breaks: Characters frequently address the audience directly, providing insights and commentary on their lives and experiences.

- Surreal Visuals: The film uses vivid and surreal imagery to depict drug-induced states and the chaotic atmosphere of the rave scene.

- Soundtrack: The soundtrack is a crucial element, featuring a mix of electronic music and dance tracks that capture the essence of the 1990s club culture.


'Human Traffic' received mixed to positive reviews from critics. It was praised for its vibrant depiction of youth culture and its authentic dialogue and performances. However, some critics noted that its narrative was somewhat thin and episodic. Despite this, the film has maintained a lasting appeal among audiences, particularly those who experienced the rave scene of the 1990s.


The film is often regarded as a time capsule of late 1990s British youth culture, reflecting the era's music, fashion, and social attitudes. Its cult status is attributed to its relatable characters, humorous and honest portrayal of young adulthood, and its celebration of friendship and escapism.


'Human Traffic' has influenced other films and media exploring similar youth and subculture themes. Its legacy endures through its impact on fans and its depiction of a vibrant and transformative period in British cultural history.

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