When Wil Thomas, tired of unemployment and a nagging mother, enlists in a Welsh army regiment for a stretch in Belfast, he makes friends, falls in love, and shapes up as an efficient cog in the military machine. Suddenly, however, there's a shooting, and Wil is imprisoned for murder. The complex but lucid account of his political education is performed partly in Welsh, no nationalist gimmick but a dramatically essential device. For the boy's resort to his native tongue not only signifies his growing solidarity with the 'enemy'; it also serves as a vital strategy of self-defence in his war with the English officers. The occasionally needless fragmentation of the narrative at times weakens the film's emotional punch, while the almost universal depiction of Wil's would-be moral guardians as corrupt and hypocritical brutes might seem overemphatic. But it's a brave, sincere and intelligent movie, forcefully grasping a thorny subject all too often handled with kid gloves.