Two men stand in a courtroom, with a police officer either side of them. One of the men has his arm in a sling. The other man has a bruised face.

About Disability On Film: Let Him Have It

'Let him have it!' yells Derek, an 18 year old boy with multiple developmental disabilities. A year later he will be hanged for murder in what will become a story of national shame and result in a posthumous pardoning decades later.

It’s post-war Britain and Derek (played by Christopher Eccleston) has fallen in with a younger teenage gang led by Christopher Craig. When an armed robbery goes wrong and the boys are surrounded by coppers, Derek yells the ambiguous command of 'Let him have it!' to Chris, who is holding a gun. Chris opens fire, killing a police officer and kickstarting a murder trial where Derek rather than Chris (due to his age) faced the death penalty if convicted.

Derek’s ambiguous command is the deciding factor. Was it an order to shoot or an order to surrender? The director Peter Medak shines a light on the inconsistencies of the British justice system and the intersection between poverty and disability.

Disability on film (DOF)

This screening forms part of a season of films from our Expanding The Frame initiative, which look at how disabled people have been portrayed on screen.

The season is co-curated by Conor O’Donovan, a guest programmer with lived experience of disability who is keen to get audiences to think beyond the usual tropes of how disability is presented in film and television.

Booking info

Duration includes trailers and adverts. For events such as NT Live, Colour Box and Reel & Meal there will be minimal advertising. We do not admit latecomers after the main feature has started and we have a limited food & drink policy. MAC’s cinema programme has been generously supported by BFI Film Audience Network and Film Hub Midlands.

Dates and times