Cinema: Borstal Boys

SCUM

Directed by Alan Clarke Screenplay by Roy Minton

Somehow one does not think that civilized old England has a prison system seriously in need of the services of Brubaker, the reform-minded prison warden recently portrayed by Robert Redford. But aside from the fact that the Borstal, a juvenile facility, in Scum is neat and clean, unlike the pigsty prison farm in Brubaker, the two institutions are identical.

A callous indifference to even rudimentary human needs prevails in both places. Day-to-day management is vested in an informal conspiracy between wardens and toughs who...

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