ScumAlan Clarke, 1979, U.K.
NEW RESTORATION! A landmark expose of Britain's violent reform schools, Alan Clarke's Scum is a controversial shock to the system. Originally made for TV in 1977, the BBC withheld the program from release, due to its intense depictions of suicide, rape and racism. Refusing to be censored, Clarke reshot the film as a theatrical feature in 1979, making his attack on the borstal system even more scathing, and it is the latter, more vitriolic version that is available from Kino Lorber.
Scum tells the story of Carlin (Ray Winstone, The Departed), a new reform school inmate with a reputation as a hard case. The authorities encourage gang leader Pongo (John Blundell) to humble Carlin, but he beats Pongo down and takes over the mantle of Daddy. The guards institute a reign of terror and neglect, with Carlin emerging as an unlikely leader. One of the most important British features of the last 35 years, Scum still packs a wallop.