Cinema-goers have defended gang film Blue Story against accusations it encouraged violence, including a mass brawl in Birmingham that left seven police officers injured.
Viewers said the movie has been unfairly blamed for the fight which involved young people with machetes, because the film’s over-riding message is to warn youngsters away from gang culture.
Blue Story, which follows the lives of two boys caught up on opposite sides of a postcode war, was pulled from Vue cinemas after the fight involving around 100 people at Star City in Birmingham on Saturday evening.
The cinema chain said it pulled Blue Story as a safety precaution after “25 significant incidents” were reported at its venues within 24 hours of the film’s release.
Showcase also cancelled showings at its venues, but reinstated it on Monday night after “careful consideration and discussions with the distributor”.
But the film has polarised opinions on whether it should be allowed to run.
Beverley Hurn and her daughter Georgia Birkbeck, who saw Blue Story at an Odeon cinema in north London, said they did not believe it was responsible for encouraging violence.
Mrs Hurn, 52, said: “What happened (in Birmingham) was terrible, but it went against the message of the film.
“The film was about how young boys do get into this gang lifestyle, and showing them the consequences, and they should stop.
“It was showing how stupid you are for trying to be a big hard man, and how gang culture affects family members – the mums, the partners and the girlfriends.