Peter Ferdinando, Stephen Graham, Neil Maskell, Elisa Lasowski / Fiction / English
Meet Michael Logan - an anti-hero for our times, a natural predator in the jungle of London’s underworld.
Michael (Peter Ferdinando) leads a special task force targeting London’s biggest and baddest drug traffickers. He and his team aren’t above taking their cut from the bad guys: in the world in which they operate, that’s how things work, and the distinction between infiltrating drug gangs in order to bust them and benefitting personally from the drug trade is almost non-existent. However, the arrival on the scene of two brutal Albanian brothers threatens to change the game. Michael’s life is complicated further when his old colleague David (Stephen Graham) takes over the investigation of the Albanians, while an internal investigation comes closer and closer to blowing the lid off the shady dealings of Michael and his unit.
From its opening slow-mo attack in an electric-blue nightclub, Hyena demonstrates the impressive boldness and control of the medium of writer-director Gerard Johnson. Hyena is also a film of raw and unrestrained emotion, a film that, like its sensitive and drained protagonist (excellently played by Ferdinando), appears lacerated by violence rather than in love with it. Johnson’s pacing is both organic and adventurous, and with the aid of strong, understated performances, including those of Elisa Lasowski and MyAnna Buring as two women who get caught in the crossfire, he turns what might have been just another genre exercise into something robust and affecting. 
18 June, 21:05 at Festival Theatre
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