Fin and Joel are the definition of scum. Their parents have either died or plainly given up on providing them basic support. The existence of their schoolmates is strictly based on giving them their lunch money and being used as punching bags. A teacher raising his voice is just background noise for the duo when the torture the school furniture with pocket knives and cutters. You may have guessed that there is a bright future waiting for Fin and Joel in small crime endeavors. However, there is hope coming from Mr Gale, their new English teacher and their latest source of bullying distraction. Instead of enduring like his colleagues and bracing himself for the inevitable burn-out or suicide, he decides to try a new method. His tools: formaldehyde, hammers and nails. This joyful combination will help Fin and Joel through a newfound form of spiritual elevation: physical pain.

Mixing the themes of high school dropout and torture porn is an alternative take on social drama and who better to capture this on camera than Ruth Platt, an Oxford graduate in Literature. Described as “a love letter to Harmony Korine and Fritz Lang”, The Lesson takes its cues from Ben Wheatley’s dark cynicism and Ken Loach’s realism. This movie is like a cold shower to bullies but at least, they might actually end up graduating.

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