Damilola: The Boy Next Door
SHOOTING PRODUCER/ DIRECTOR (1x60 mins’) ACME FILMS for CHANNEL 4
To mark the 20th anniversary of Damilola Taylor’s violent murder on the North Peckham Estate, his childhood friend Yinka Bokinni confronts the impact of his killing and conflicting thoughts of their childhood community.
The horrendous and lonely death of ten-year-old Damilola Taylor in the dank stairwell of an estate in Peckham in November 2000 stunned the nation. It seemed to encapsulate a nation mired in moral crisis and a society that was fundamentally broken.
In the aftermath of Damilola’s death, the estate was demolished and the families dispersed. Now, twenty years on, Yinka Bokinni explores the devastating impact Damilola’s death had on her community, her area, and the lives of almost everyone she knew, confronting for the first time the impact of a tragic event which the children from the area have never felt able to discuss.
In this film, Yinka attempts to reconcile the two versions of her past and try to understand how the warm, loving and happy community she remembers so fondly from her childhood was presented in the media as a crime-ridden “sink estate” that was somehow to blame for the tragic loss of a young life.
WINNER Best History Documentary, and NOMINEE Best Presenter - Royal Television Society Programme Awards.
WINNER Debut Presenter Award - Edinburgh TV Festival's New Voice Awards
“I’ve never spoken about the murder of my childhood friend until now, I have lived my life with so many questions about what happened and why it happened in the place that I called home. To finally be telling the story feels both therapeutic and scary but I am ready to share this side of the story. Hopefully everyone will get to know the real Damilola, as he lived, a bit better.”
— Yinka Bokinni
"Yinka Bokinni does a brilliantly sensitive job... Uplifting and redemptive.... The powerful truth behind the headlines"
— The Guardian
"A sensitive portrait of widespread trauma"
— Financial Times
"This is a powerful and captivating film. A fiercely honest reflection on a terrible tragedy."
— The Sunday Telegraph
"This raw and powerful film was a subtle, moving look at class and community, loss and trauma. For a film about the loss of a young life, it was somehow uplifting and redemptive."
— The Daily Telegraph
Commissioning Editor: Fozia Khan
Presented by: Yinka Bokinni
Production Company: Acme Films
Assistant Producer: Nelson Adeosun
Editor: Will Grayburn
Executive Producers: Jaimie D’Cruz, Jonathan Smith
Filmed, Produced and Directed by: Ashley Francis-Roy