NEDS (Non-educated delinquents) is the story of a young man's journey from prize-winning schoolboy to knife-carrying teenager, struggling against the low expectations of those around him, John McGill changes from victim to avenger, scholar to Ned, altar boy to glue sniffer. When he attempts to change back again, his new reality and recent past make conformity near impossible and violent self-determination near inevitable.

Director's Statement

I think the best, though not the only, way to describe my overall approach to filming NEDS is "impressionistic", In the sense that composition, lighting, mlse-en-scene etc will be determined as much by the Inner-life of the protagonist, John, as by the events and people who affect him. I'll explain using the opening scenes as examples. After John leaves the happy and protective environment of his primary school he wanders into an equally, though adult, happy occasion - a wedding. From a high shot, looking over the shoulder of Christ on the Cross, we move down through the confetti blowing colourfully over the smiling onlookers and the excited children to John who is quietly, proudly gazing at his prize. The shadow of Canta casts over him before his words shatter Johns revelry. From that point on, till the end of the scene we shoot from Johns perspective i.e. Canta, looming almost demonically against an Incongruously blue sky; the head teacher (once so authoritive) now rendered as Impotent as Christ on the Cross; his own mother and aunt, so taken by the wedding party they are oblivious to Johns predicament. As the Impact of Cantas threat cuts deep into Johns psyche, so too his Internalized retreat is symbolized by the low ceilings and sparse surroundings of his home, dominated by the brooding menace of his father. The streets become equally menacing, especially in the dark and murky evenings. Until, entering under the solitary spill of the streetlight, comes his colourful, swaggering brother Benny. In design and composition it is the world as John sees and experiences it. I want the film to be bold whilst not trying to ingratiate itself to its younger audience. It has to create a unique, mysterious, volatile and often violent world, at the centre of which is a young boy trying desperately to work out his place within it.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Peter Mullan

Written by: Peter Mullan

Produced by: Olivier Delbosc, Alain de la Mata, Marc Missonnier

Cinematography: Roman Osin

Editing: Colin Monie

Production Design: Mark Leese

Original Score: Craig Armstrong

Cast: Peter Mullan, Louise Goodall, Marianna Palka, Conor McCarron

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2011