The Spongers (1978)

Film details

Synopsis

Play about a family, consisting of a mother and four children, one of whom has Downs Syndrome, struggling to exist on State Aid, and set against the background of celebrations for the Silver Jubilee.

Deserted by her husband, Pauline struggles to look after her four children on State benefits; however, she is in arrears with the rent, having spent the money on food and other things. The bailiffs take away her furniture and the DHSS refuses to give her any more money, cutting into her future allowances further in order to pay off her arrears. Her daughter Paula becomes a victim of the Council's cost-cutting exercise, when she is removed from the Special School, where she is happy and progressing well, and placed in totally unsuitable accomodation, where she is the only child amongst old people, and starts regressing. Pauline's social worker can do nothing to help her and a Councillor approached by the Community Worker is unhelpful. In spite of the emotional support of relatives and friends on the Estate, Pauline can take no more, and on the evening of local celebrations for the Queen's Silver Jubilee, kills her family and herself with an overdose of pills in their bedtime hot chocolate.

Cast & Credits

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top