The London riots serve as the backdrop for director Michael Caton-Jones’ (Rob Roy, Memphis Belle) commanding saga of redemption.
In 2011, a surge of looting, arson, and violent disorder spread from London to Birmingham, Manchester, and other cities, raging for six days and ending with mass arrests. Urban Hymn picks up in the aftermath when a troubled young female offender, Jamie (Letitia Wright), and a grieving novice care-worker Kate (Shirley Henderson, Trainspotting, Bridget Jones’s Diary) cross paths.
At the heart of it all is the relationship between Jamie and Leanne (Isabella Laughland). Both have come from tragedy, both find refuge in their friendship and, with their 18th birthdays looming, both face rocky futures as they near the end of their time in a state-run residential home for children.
When Kate enters the picture, she develops a maternal bond with Jamie, encouraging her to embrace her singing talent and find a future in performance. Leanne is unable to let go of her best friend and becomes increasingly volatile, leaving Jamie irrevocably torn between the two women.