There can be no doubt of the fact that Kim Longinotto is one of the finest filmmakers working in the UK today, and this film (which comes hot on the heels of last year's outstanding 'Sisters in Law') certainly gives credence to the notion. Training her camera on the staff and pupils of Oxford's Mullbury Bush School for children with acute behavioural problems, she manages to tease out a disturbing, deeply moving and even at times, darkly comic portrait of an institution which is seen as a last chance saloon for its many troubled pupils. Avoiding sensationalism by tastefully editing out scenes of violence and dispensing with the forced narrative arc which seems de rigeur in most documentary films these days, Longinotto's gentle struggle to inject objectivity into the form means that the viewer is (for once) allowed to read the material as they wish. A very strong piece of work.
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