Feltham Sings (2002)
“I always knew I’d end up in prison sooner or later. I just knew that my turn would come around.”
At the age of 19, Paul McBride is six months into his second prison term for burglary at Feltham, Europe’s largest young offenders’ institution. He was born in Holloway prison while his mother was serving a sentence there.
Paul’s life has followed a
pattern that will not surprise anyone who has spent time with young
offenders – absent father, criminally inclined family and friends, poor
school attendance, addicted to crack cocaine by the age of 14,
extravagant use of other drugs and alcohol, a taste for violence and
Feltham Sings shows a
group of young offenders in a new light. Traditionally, when a prisoner
‘sings’, it means betrayal. The prisoners of Feltham told us their
dreams and their pain in song.
The experiences they sing
about are dark and intense, but the fresh approach of poet Simon
Armitage and director Brian Hill, played with the music of Dextrous
allows us to see them as much more than car thieves, thugs and burglars.