Ratcatcher (93mins), made in 1999 is the first film directed by Lynne Ramsay. It stars William Eadie as James, Tommy Flanagan as Da, Mandy Matthews as Ma, Michelle Stewart as Ellen and Lynne Ramsay junior as Anne Marie.

It is a hauntingly realistic portrait of life in the Gorbals part of Glasgow in the 1970s. It tells the story of a boy James as he lives in squalid conditions. The film shows the problems youngsters have in such areas and the family problems that often come too. One sees much tragedy but is not made to view individuals as the problem. Rather we are asked to consider how this can be changed.

The film has alongside this the building of new estates for the residents, something which provides hope. But the film makes difficult if rewarding viewing for it does not shirk from showing how small hope is for the characters we see.

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