Downbeat but uplifting, British director Charlotte Regan’s film Scrapper, which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, follows a 12-year-old girl, reunited with her estranged dad.

“It takes a village to raise a child”, goes the saying. Georgie (newcomer Lola Campbell) is having none of that. After losing her mum to cancer, she gets by on her own, dodging welfare checks from the authorities and her school. 

A young girl in a soccer uniform stands with a young man in a field. They both hold metal detectors, and the young girl is passing a small object to him

Harris Dickinson and Lola Campbell in Scrapper

She claims to be living with her uncle ‘Winston Churchill’. In reality, she supports herself by stealing bikes with her best friend Ali (Alin Uzun). Winston Churchill is, in fact, just a bunch of random lines recorded by a guy in the local convenience store, edited together by Georgie and played down the phone when required.

Scrapper isn’t big on social commentary, but the willingness with which the social welfare people swallow her palpably transparent...