These four television films, originally screened by Channel 4 in 1983, brought the emerging writing talent of former actor David Leland to national attention. He would subsequently win a BAFTA Award for his directorial debut Wish You Were Here and an Emmy Award for his contribution to Band of Brothers, and work on screenplays for Mona Lisa and Personal Services. Featuring early roles for Tim Roth and Jim Broadbent, the plays form a scathing portrait of British society in the early 1980s, focusing in particular on the polarisation of attitudes towards the role and methods of education in an increasingly fragmented society. Without overtly offering solutions, Leland s plays depict - often with unnerving acuity and foresight - the experience of individuals within systems that have become inadequate in dealing with the fallout of social breakdown. Of the four plays presented here, Made in Britain, directed by Alan Clarke (Scum), inevitably aroused the strongest controversy, with Tim Roth s astonishing portrayal of a nihilistic, racist teenage skinhead captured by Chris Menges innovative cinematography; the screenplay won Leland the Prix Italia in 1983. / Birth of a Nation - Featuring Jim Broadbent, the play dramatises the conflict between old, authoritarian teaching methods and the more relaxed approach of progressive educationalists. / Flying into the Wind - Graham Crowden stars in a play depicting the battle between parents who want to home-educate their children and the local education authority. / R.H.I.N.O. - The harrowing story of Angela, a disenfranchised young black girl living in 1980s London, and her encounters with a well-meaning but often ineffectual social system. / Made in Britain - Directed by Alan Clarke, Tim Roth makes his TV debut as a hate-filled teenage skinhead on a self-destructive campaign destined to lead to permanent incarceration.
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