Monday, 24/08/09, Sky1, 10pm

The Times:

Chloe Ruthven's disturbing and powerful film came about by accident.

In 2001, Ruthven got a job in an inner London primary school, working with children who were failing in class. Two mischievous boys immediately stood out - Mario and his best friend Nini.

She began working with them, and found that the video camera was a useful tool to help them to explore their lives.

Over the course of seven years, Ruthven's footage reveals the turbulent lives of the two boys as they come of age in a North London neighbourhood entrenched in crime and violence.

But among the uncomfortable moments there is one that stands out - when Ruthven takes Mario and Nini and their friend on a camping trip.

Away from the gangs that dominate their home lives, the boys thrive. Ruthven believes that offering alternatives to a life of crime is one solution to break the vicious circle. This really is essential viewing.