Underground London rapper Skinnyman’s ‘Council Estate of the Mind’ plays over the end credits of this highly promising, micro-budget, DV-shot writing-directing debut from Greg Hall, which follows the lives of a young, ethnically mixed foursome of friends from a south London estate. That song’s urgent, politicised and idealistic lyrics serve to contextualise quite neatly this admirable slice of urban realism. It’s no criticism to say that ‘The Plague’ deals in clichés – avoiding college or turning up late for dead-end jobs, hanging out, drug dealing, fights with racist (NF) gangs, dating, confrontations with bigoted/prejudiced police officers. The avoidance of clichéd responses to the pressures of council estate life is part of the implicit ‘message’ of Hall’s slightly uneven but highly watchable film. Notwithstanding the impressive subjective experimentation of cameraman Leo Leigh and the lively soundscape, it’s the credible performances Hall encourages from his young cast – notably David Bonnick Junior, Samuel Anoyke, Nur Alam Rahman and Brett Harris as the four mates – that ensures his film’s relevance and freshness.