Song for a Raggy Boy (2003)

Song for a Raggy Boy (2003)

I watched this movie with tears in my eyes. No other movie up to my writing this review made me feel such pain – almost physical pain — just from watching the story that unfolds on the screen. I must note that this was probably the hardest movie to watch from all I have seen until the present at the risk of repeating myself.

I made a few notes when it started – they were about the interesting characters, the song by Libera I noticed – but now I can not really write about that. Shocking, painful, cruel, realistic to the core – I can go on like this for a long time. The fact that Song for a Raggy Boy is based on a true story contributes to the powerful effect on its viewers.

The acting is excellent as well – so good in fact that I felt like I knew some of the Song for a Raggy Boy (2003)characters in person. The young actors were compelling, and I felt Patrick Delaney (played by Chris Newman) and Liam Mercier (John Travers) were almost like my friends.

But let me tell you a bit more about the movie…

Pegatinas personalizadas, pegatinas troqueladas, pegatinas para parachoques - Sticker Mule

It is set in a reformatory school in Ireland run by the Catholic church. As often happened, the boys sent there didn’t find anything remotely resembling help and support. Instead, they were beaten and abused mentally and physically (some even sexually) by the religious staff there. One of them, Brother John (Iain Glen), the prefect of discipline at the school, is most aptly described by a line with which he tells the new teacher, William Franklin (Aidan Quinn – with a performance that superbly leads the adult cast) about the kind of job he is expected to do:

“The creatures you are going to teach are not to be confused with intelligent human beings.”

Just that line itself was enough for me to imagine the horrible manner in which the boys were treated. The new teacher attempts to change all that and, as the story unfolds, I began to really like him. He was strict but, at the same time, obviously caring for the boys he taught. Brother John becomes his enemy almost from the very beginning. After failing to persuade the institution’s superior to dismiss the new teacher, he directs his anger to the school pupils. You will have to watch the movie to find out how it all ends …

This movie gets 10 out of 10 for me – since it is surely one of the best ones I have ever watched.

Similar movies: Sleepers, Dead Poets Society

Watch the trailer below:


  1. Hola. Vi esta dura e impactante película también. Me pareció muy triste y poderosa. Yo también me sentí muy cercana a ellos, como si fueran mis amigos, y eso me gustó, aunque al final me hacía sentirme inútil y mal por no haber podido hacer nada. Creo que es también por esta sensación de cercanía (aparte de lo obvio) por lo que sentía tanto odio y desprecio por los curas malos.
    Me encantó la película, aunque es una pena que este basada en hechos reales u.u

    Hello. I watched this movie also harsh and shocking. I felt very sad and powerful. I also felt very close to them, as if they were my friends, and I liked it, but ultimately useless and made ​​me feel bad about not being able to do anything. I think it’s also this feeling of closeness (aside from the obvious) so much hatred and contempt felt by bad priests.
    I loved the movie, but it’s a shame that this factual uu

  2. I saw this movie only yesterday, and I was soooo hurt. To think that it’s based on a true story is hard to stomach what Mercier must have endured. I hope no other boy has to go through that sort or torture and that whoever commits such should be sent to the electric chair. This is horrifying and I just couldn’t help but let the tears flow.

    • While reading your comment I watched the clip I made for the film once again – its just a few minutes – but got me quite emotional . I often refer to Song for a Raggy boy as the best drama ever made. Will try to update my review soon – as I intend to watch the film again in the next month or so

  3. Yes, this is the most painful, and sad motion picture I’ve ever seen. Yes these things happened with impunity. The disturbed men,..and women that committed these crimes walk free.

    I speak from experience.

  4. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

    Turning your head from such things will not keep them from happening. This movie is the worst kind. It is true.

    So much more of this exists than you can ever imagine, but I must ask you this. If you were Delaney or any other child in this circumstance, would your begging prayers be that no one looks, or that God be merciful and end your torture by taking your life?

    And if you look away, are you still a good man or part of the evil that you will not look upon.

    Strong questions to ask yourself. I know the answers for myself. This movie makes you evaluate yourself as well as the church. It is my opinion that man has taken control of the church. God still exists however. Just not there maybe.



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