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1999, Pathe, 94 min, UK/France, Dir: Lynne Ramsay

Writer-director Lynne Ramsay’s bracing feature debut offers a look at growing up in squalor in Scotland in the 1970s. Set during a garbage strike, RATCATCHER follows James Gillespie (William Eadie), a 12-year-old boy living in one of Glasgow’s poorer slums, where local gangs and an isolated canal are constant perils. Superbly shot and featuring a mostly nonprofessional cast, this powerful drama peppers its social realism with occasional humor and flights of fancy to create an unforgettable portrait of childhood.

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