A young offender is sent to borstal (“reform school” in American terms) and faces the brutality and indifference of the guards. He manages to work his way to the top of the prisoner heap by his use of violence against the reigning inmates who attempt to intimidate him.
Acclaimed British director Alan Clarke (Elephant) successfully remade his TV film Scum for the cinemas after the BBC banned it due to the docudrama-like harshness of its prison drama. The aggressive realism and social critique is sharpened even more by casting a young Ray Winstone in the lead.
La condición humana en un reclusorio para jovenes donde el respeto se gana con violencia, no se permiten atisbos de humanidad por significar debilidad, una espiral bien llevada: "volencia genera violencia" Buena dirección, muy recomendable.
a brilliant brilliant and defiant film that rails against the worst evil in society. I need to see more alan clarke. And a young Ray Winstone is formidable. A horrifying and brutally realistic social drama.
Intense, brutal portrayal not just of a wretched institution but of a harder era in general. Watching this brought back memories of my junior high in a working class suburb of Vancouver, BC in the early 1980s. Even the look and construction of the main building was similar--minus the bars, of course. Was great seeing "Jimmy" again, too. Who fans will know.
Ray Winstone fan for life because of this performance. He does something incredible with his tough trying to survive ways, the way he tries to hide his vulnerability is heart breaking. And when you see him trying to get through this journey of prison, and the harsh situations he finds himself in, cause anyone watching this to focus on him and him only. A must see for anyone who claims to know British cinema.
The development seems less individual than contextual or collective. While even the rape scene does not seem novel to the guards, they don't quite seem to anticipate the suicides or ensuing riot, which open a new space in the film. The treatment of race is gripping and portrays the system as consistently barbaric throughout.
Brutal but powerful. I loved the stark clinical way the film is shot with no music, an ironic contrast to the wrong doings going on in the borstal.Great cast as well. I do feel the film had little charecter development which would make me care about them more. The film was more a sequence of happenings which alienated core human emotions. But it's a film which intends to deliver a message and it does this well. 4/5