With youth violence in London on the rise, a rebellious group of young people ride through the city’s streets trying to escape the harsh realities of their lives, all under the slogan ‘Knives Down, Bikes Up’.
If the Streets Were on Fire follows BikeStormz, a movement aimed at giving young people a safe space of freedom and community, amidst knife crime wreaking havoc in the capital. Run by social activist Mac Ferrari since 2014, he encourages the group to enjoy themselves and step away from societal and domestic pressures. However, this does not prove to be an easy feat as they come up against racism and prejudice, even by systems of authority.
Full of incredible shots of the city and the skills of the riders, this is an impressive debut feature from British director Alice Russell. It acts as a lesson in how grassroots movements can fundamentally improve people’s lives, and a reminder that safeguarding our communities often starts with us.