Written and directed by Richard Heap, The Runaways is a tale of adventure that follows three children and their donkeys leaving their home when tragedy strikes and heading across the backbone of Northern England.
Set in a small seaside town, we focus on a family who live in a shack on the cliffs with their many donkeys. They have an interesting family dynamic from the beginning, with Angie (Molly Windsor), the oldest, acting as the parent, cooking for the whole family and helping to raise her siblings. It soon becomes clear that she has a struggle with this role, and just when she begins to resent the premature loss of her childhood, tragedy strikes.
Another sibling relationship is revealed when their Uncle (Mark Addy) is released from prison after five years, yet this one is a dark history that has been hidden from the children, involving murder and the sinking of a ship (and a family heirloom). The children pick up on this estranged relationship and after a night celebrating Angie’s 16th birthday in the pub, the children wake up to find their father dead. Not knowing what to do or who to tell, they take matters into their own hands. And so their adventure begins.The film explores rural culture, celebrating the British pub – yet also showing the problems with it – as well as the folk music scene. As the children cross the moors, they have to tackle the trials of living rough, as well as how to look after each other. They begin to realise that nothing will ever be the same and there are several twists and turns which challenge them to the max.
The Runaways is a beautifully shot film with scenes of the British countryside that make you want to adventure and explore the country. The well thought out characters and relationships build a heart-wrenching tale, which makes you realise the importance of family and supporting the people you care about most.