In the 1984 Miners Strike in England, brawn is more the theme than style, with violence all too common in the struggles of the strikers. Eleven year old Billy Elliot's (Jamie Bell)father and his older brother, union miners themselves, are caught up in it, and the most bellicose elements of their personalities are in full swing. This makes Billy's affinity for dancing over boxing all the more unfathomable to them, and they don't support him in pursuit of his dream to become a ballet dancer. With the help of a local ballet teacher who secretly takes him under her wing, Billy persists and his talents as a ballet dancer develop impressively. Still, to pursue his dreams, Billy will need both financial support and encouragement from his family, and there is grave doubt whether either is available to him in a family psychologically consumed and financially impaired by the strike. Billy's father must balance his allegiance to his fellow miners with his allegiance to his family. How he resolves this conflict is the substance of this insightful, and ultimately uplifting, film.