Inspired by the success of the 1979 film Scum, this British drama graphically depicts the ugliness of life within a woman’s borstal (youth detention centre).
Two girls escape from an open borstal: teenage mother Annetta (Chrissie Cotterill) wants to visit her baby daughter (who is being raised in a convent) and lesbian Carol (Amanda York) hopes to be recaptured and sent to a closed borstal where her girlfriend Doreen is being held.
Carol’s plan works, although she is devastated to find that Doreen (Debby Bishop) has found herself a new girlfriend inside.
When Annetta is arrested at the convent and sent to the same closed borstal, she assumes it was Carol who grassed her up and proceeds to plan her revenge.
Carol finds protection in the form of inmate Eddie (Kate Ingram), while Annetta’s constant bullying attempts keep her in solitary confinement. But Carol’s world is turned upside-down when Eddie is released from borstal and her protection is gone.
All the actresses – many of them unknowns – are (clearly) too old to be playing 20-year-olds but the film is well-acted, well-scripted, thought-provoking and unpleasant.
Pam St. Clement