Anita & Me
Year of release: 2002
Directed by: Metin Hüseyin
Based on Meera Syal's autobiographical novel, Anita & Me centres on the bright 12-year-old Meena growing up with her Punjabi parents in a small town in the Midlands in 1972.
She dreams of having her romantic fiction published in Jackie, a teenage magazine, and would love to be friends with 'the wenches', a girl gang led by the blonde, popular girl, Anita. She realises both her ambitions but becomes disillusioned in the process. The pivotal scene in this coming-of-age film is the summer fair where Meena finds out that Anita has been involved in a 'Paki-bashing' incident that resulted in the death of one Meena's relatives. This shocking revelation results Meena re-assessing her loyalties and her identity. She no longer aspires to being one of 'the wenches' and even learns some Punjabi from her visiting grandmother.She even passes the entrance exams for a girl's grammar school and the family moves house, leaving Anita and her gang behind. Even though the films ends with Anita and Meena superficially making up, ultimately Meena realises that they are—and always were—worlds apart.