Human Traffic (1999)

Directed by
Justin Kerrigan

This clubbing drama is a realistic portrayal on the why's and wherefore's of society's living-for-today generations.

"The weekend has landed. All that exists now is clubs, drugs, pubs and parties. I've got 48 hours off from the world man." The television premiere of Justin Kerrigan's hilarious look at the modern club scene arrives with a joint screening on Channel 4 and FimFour, showing the good times and the wild times where drugs, drinks and talking rubbish to your mates are what makes the best night out.

In Cardiff, a group of friends prepare for the weekend. Jip (John Simm) tries to survive life with his prostitute mother and a bout of sexual insecurity. Lulu (Lorraine Pilkington) is the opposite, a hedonistic clubber and loyal friend. Moff (Danny Dyer) rebels against his father, a policeman, to deal drugs from the family home, and Koop (Shaun Parkes) surrounds himself with music and a possessive obsession with girlfriend Nina (Nicola Reynolds).

The five friends' dead-end jobs come to a full stop with Friday night when they cut loose to party, meeting to drop the first pill of the evening before hitting the city. As they move on to a party the drugs flow, and a weekend they will never forget slowly unfolds..

The film's uncompromising content and tone appealed to an audience that recognised their own antics, from the tunes under musical supervisor Pete Tong to the use of drugs that didn't lead to illness or death, just speculation about the meaning of Star Wars. Clever marketing including an enigmatic trailer (featuring marijuana messiah Howard Marks) and a curious clubbing crowd led to a huge crossover both here and in the States (under the patronage of the formidable Miramax Weinsteins).

The charismatic Kerrigan was an instant hit, with coverage focusing on his determination (using a £25,000 festival short film prize to develop the project) and irreverence. Recounting an invitation to Windsor Castle as a representative of British youth culture, he pictures a tired and emotional meeting with the Queen. "This place looks great, mate," he enthused. "Do you rent it out for parties?" A follow-up project has yet to emerge, but the 26-year-old director's dream is a film about life with his inspirational late father, who guided him toward film school.

The sound track is superb accompanying the highs and lows of their 48 hour weekend and the events that take place in it.

Written by

Genre: Film

Running Time: 99 minutes (approx)

Production Year: 1999

3/5 Stars

Classification: 18 Certificate

Production Country: UK/Ireland

Filmed in Colour


Image for John SimmJohn Simm...Jip
Lorraine Pilkington...Lulu
Image for Shaun ParkesShaun Parkes...Koop
Image for Danny DyerDanny Dyer...Moff
Nicola Reynolds...Nina
Dean Davies...Lee
Justin Kerrigan...Ziggy Marlon