Alan Clarke1971-1980DramaTVUnited Kingdom

Alan Clarke – Scum [BBC Version] (1977)

This is the original version made for the BBC but banned by them and never screened until 15 years later. The BBC said that they banned it because “There was too much incident packed into too short a time and that they doubted the veracity.” So they thought it was pure fiction. But they also said that it “looked too much like a documentary.”

A brutal depiction of life in the borstal system where order is maintained through violence and intimidation. Carlin’s journey up the pecking order from new boy to ‘Daddy’ earns him the respect of inmates and officers alike.

Scum was originally made for the BBC’s Play for Today series in 1977. Deemed too controversial by BBC management, it was effectively banned from broadcast until 1991, a year after director Alan Clarke’s death, when it was finally screened on Channel Four as part of a season on the theme of censorship.

The brutality that shocked the BBC and prevented Scum from being broadcast is precisely what makes it such an important work. In what was to become Clarke’s trademark approach to tackling contentious social issues, he and writer Roy Minton decided the best way to critique the violence inherent in the borstal system was simply to show it. While few would doubt that the bullying, rioting and rape depicted in the play does take place within such institutions, the oft repeated criticism of Scum is that it depicts these events happening within a relatively short space of time, leaving the play open to accusations of melodrama.

1.04GB | 1h 14m | 768×576 | mkv

Subtitles:English HoH

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