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Responsible Child

  • Drama
  • Crime/detective
  • 2019
  • Nick Holt
  • 90 mins

Summary

Fact-based drama following the story of Ray, a boy on the cusp of adolescence who is arrested along with his adult brother Nathan for the murder of his mum's abusive partner. With the age of criminal responsibility set at 10, Ray stands trial for murder in an adult courtroom. The film follows both the events leading up to the crime, and the boy's experience of the trial. Starring Billy Barratt, Michelle Fairley, Tom Burke and James Tarpey

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Review

Raphael, known as Ray, is a quiet kid, mild and angelic-looking. “You’d think the boy had fallen off a cloud,” his solicitor jokes. But Ray and his older brother Nathan are charged with a brutal crime – the murder of their stepfather, stabbed 70 times as he slept. And although Nathan is 23 and Ray only 12, both will be tried in the same court because in England and Wales children as young as ten are tried for murder as adults.

What that means in practice is spelt out in a disturbing story based (with some changes) on a real-life case. Ray’s home life is sharply sketched: his mum struggles to cope; his stepdad has violent rages; Ray’s only friend and protector is his brother – but that can’t last.

It’s a poignant portrait of a child placed under unbearable pressure – first by conflict at home, then by the harsh machinery of the law.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
RayBilly Barratt
NathanJames Tarpey
William RamsdenTom Burke
Kevin - Appropriate AdultNeal Barry
Sergeant LucasTina Harris
PeteOwen McDonnell
KerryMichelle Fairley
VeronicaDebbie Honeywood
ScottShaun Dingwall
SerenaKirsten Wright

Crew

rolename
DirectorNick Holt
WriterSean Buckley
ProducerElinor Day
ComposerAdrian Johnston
EditorMatthew Gray
Production designerTom Bowyer

Details

Released on
2019-12-16
Languages
English
Formats
Colour
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