‘A bath, a toilet and a field’: dreaming and deprivation in Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher

Lebeau, Vicky (2017) ‘A bath, a toilet and a field’: dreaming and deprivation in Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher. In: Donald, Stephanie Hemelryk, Wilson, Emma and Wright, Sarah (eds.) Childhood and nation in contemporary world cinema : borders and encounters. Bloomsbury, New York, pp. 15-31. ISBN 9781501318580

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Abstract

This article explores the figure of the child in relation to the topics of housing, class and the social state in contemporary Britain. Its starting-point is Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher, a film that puts the work of a child’s playing, his dreaming and dying, at the heart of its historical and sociological understanding of the peculiarly working-class experience of slum clearance and relocation to housing estates on the outskirts of major cities and towns across the country. It is central to my argument that, as well as being in dialogue with a rich tradition of social realism in British cinema, Ratcatcher provides a crucial opportunity to explore the contemporary welfare imagination and the role of the social state. The primary aim of this article is to use that opportunity to raise new questions about the value of cultural forms as sites of critical research and provocations to re-thinking and re-imagining the social state at the beginning of the 21st century.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Ratcatcher, Lynne Ramsay, council housing, working-class homes, Aneurin Bevan, Julian Lousada, Andrew Cooper, welfare state, social state, postwar settlement, psychical settlement, social realism, Ken Loach, Cathy Come Home, Alison Ravetz, Bronco Bullfrog
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0173 Psychoanalysis
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion pictures
Depositing User: Vicky Lebeau
Date Deposited: 23 May 2016 10:29
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2017 09:28
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61129

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