by Peter Mullan
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Glasgow, 1973. On the brink of adolescence, young John McGill's about to start secondary school. He's a bright and sensitive boy, eager to learn, but the cards are stacked high against him. The McGill family's dirt poor, his hated father's a drunken bully. His teachers are down on him from the start. John's on his own. And then there's the gangs. The Neds. Non-Educated Delinquents. The bad boys with weapons and attitude: cheap drugs, glam rock, fumbling sex, the violence and the camaraderie of the streets. Benny's fearsome reputation buys John protection, and then a way in. Scared, resentful, full of rage, John makes his decision. He takes to the savage life of the streets with a vengeance. But as his rage and frustration spin him further and further out of control, he is left facing a blank wall. No future. With one extraordinary chance of redemption.