Despite having a drunken, abusive father and a brother who leads a local gang John McGill is a studious boy for whom a bright educational future seems to beckon. However his studiousness isolates him and when he is invited to join the gang it gives him a sense of belonging. However he becomes increasingly more violet, stabbing a boy in the neck, for which his brother is blamed and jailed, and dropping a breeze block on a rival gang leader, causing him permanent brain damage. John is temporarily thrown out of his home by his mother and suspended from school though when he is readmitted he is placed in the remedial class. John now has no interest in education but in being the top boy amongst the NEDS or non-educated delinquents. He is invincible, and even the lions at the local safari park let him pass without attacking him. Written by
don @ minifie-1
The film uses "Non-Educated DelinquentS" as a "backronym" for "neds" as it is commonly used in modern day Scotland since the 90s. The English equivalent is chav. Many people including police officials and politicians (including famously Rosie Kane MSP) have discussed the term ned using this definition. As the term ned has been used far longer and dates back to the 19th century according to the OED it is not proven that this is the true origin of the term. See more »
Teachers were not allowed to smoke in classrooms in the mid-1970s. See more »
Peter Mullan's film about Glasgow's Non-Educated Delinquents is not quite as straightforward as it may at first seem: there are some fairly common elements (the bright kid trying to learn his way out of poverty, the drunken father, the violent street gangs) but also some odd, surreal imaginative scenes, and an overall narrative that grows more opaque the longer the film lasts. It's the scenes set at school, which showcase the diversity of approaches employed by the teaching staff, that are most powerful, making the point that if your rear children as animals, animals are what you're going to get out the other end. The almost total absence of any positive virtues: humour, love, progress are all absent from the narrative; ultimately make for hard watching. Mullan himself is mesmeric in a small role, but the failure to make that role more central is just one of the film's narrative oddities; as a writer, Mullan could have done with some help to better shape his material.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?