this film is not really known outside of ireland but it should be it is truly a great film and the performance from ian glen and aiden quinn are outstanding.
after fighting in the spanish cival war william franklyn turnes to teaching at St. Judes Reformatory School a ruthless place run by vicious priests. in the playground there is a wall in the middle of the yard to seperate the older boys from the younger boys. one day while being lined up at the end of play time one of the boys patric delaney burps he is lashed across the face with the priests belt franklyn is horrified by the priests behaviour and inter viens only to the dismay of head priest john . delaney attractes the aattention of a peadophile priest who rapes the boy in the toilets but when he tells the bishop he is told to keep quite. another boy liam mercer is one of the more vocal students inn the school therefor he attracts regular beatings from the priests. mercer forms a special relationship with franklyn teaching him how to read write and turnes him into a poet.
one of the more brutal scenes comes when 2 brothers from different sides of the wall sneak into the yard at christmas to exchange gifts this is witnessed by brother john he brings all the boys to watch what will happen if you touch the wall he kneels the 2 boys down shaves their heads and whips the boys mercer tells one of the other boys to go and get franklyn. when franklyn sees what is happening he attacks brother john.
i cannot describe how many emotions will come over you when you see this film. ian glen (brother john) and aiden quinn ( william franklyn) give great performances in a film that highlights the ongoing abuse the irish catholic church and churches worldwide.